Origin of the regional stress field along the Liquine-Ofqui Fault Zone (LOFZ), Southern Chilean Andes by means of FE simulation
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The Liquine-Ofqui Fault Zone (LOFZ) of southern Chilean Andes is one of the largest active strike-slip fault zones. There is an ongoing debate regarding the origin of the stress field along the LOFZ due to its complex geometry. This paper represents a study of the origins of the LOFZ regional stress field. Stress fields are calculated by finite element (FE) analysis. The two possible stress origins, i.e., oblique plate convergence and ridge collision/indenter tectonics of Chile ridge against Peru-Chile trench, have been emphasized in the present study. Three types of boundary conditions for the three particular models have been applied to calculate stress fields. Models are assumed to be elastic and plane stress condition. Modeling results are presented in terms of four parameters, i. e., orientation of maximum horizontal stress (σ H max), displacement vector, strain distribution, and maximum shear stress (τ max) contour line within the model. The results of the first model with oblique plate convergence show inconsistency between the geometric shape of the LOFZ and the distribution of the four parameters. Although more realistic results are obtained from the second model with normal ridge collision, there are few coincident in the LOFZ geometry and regional stress field. The third model with normal and oblique ridge collision is reasonable in understanding the origin of stress field and geometrical condition in the lithosphere of the LOFZ.
Key wordsLiquine-Ofqui Fault Zone FE analysis Elastic rheology Oblique plate convergence Ridge collision
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