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formerly Central European Journal of Geosciences

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State of stress in the northern Tabas block, east-central Iran, as inferred from focal mechanisms of the 1978 Tabas earthquake sequence

G. Behzad Zamani
Published Online: 2011-03-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13533-011-0011-9


In this paper, the state of stress in the northern Tabas block in east-central Iran is analyzed based on the systematic inversion of aftershock focal mechanisms from the 1978.09.16 Tabas earthquake, to characterise the stress regime that controls most earthquakes in this area. Here, stress inversions of double-couple focal mechanisms of earthquakes recorded during the 30 days following the main shock have been carried out. The calculated average stress regime indicates dominant major 226° to 237° trending compression for the Tabas region. The dominating regime in east-central Iran is thrusting with a minimum stress axis, σ 3, close to vertical. The reconstruction of the main seismotectonic stress in east-central Iran with a NE-SW compression is consistent with independent information of the active plate convergence related to Arabia-Eurasia convergence. Most earthquakes in the mentioned area occur near or around concealed Quaternary thrust faults with their activity being controlled by the NE-SW compression. Where ϕ, the ratio of principal stress differences, is 0.5, a small difference between σ 2; σ 3 and σ 1 and small amounts of deviatoric stress is indicated. Therefore, for small deviatoric horizontal σ 1 it is not possible to increase and reactivate small sections of basement thrust faults and create secondary basement aftershocks. Reconstructed stress regimes in this study for sedimentary cover (237) and basement (226) of Tabas are similar. Therefore, it seems that the basement and cover were coupled together, possibly along the 2–4 km of upper Precambrian low-grade metamorphic rocks. Then these segments of the fold-and-thrust belt were involved in similar seismic activity under a similar stress regime.

Keywords: State of stress; east-central Iran; focal mechanisms; inversion

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About the article

Published Online: 2011-03-27

Published in Print: 2011-03-01

Citation Information: Open Geosciences, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 77–89, ISSN (Online) 2391-5447, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13533-011-0011-9.

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© 2011 Versita Warsaw. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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