State of Stress and Intraplate Earthquakes in the United States

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Science  03 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4503, pp. 96-104
DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4503.96


Recently compiled data on the state of stress have been used to define stress provinces in the conterminous United States in which the orientation and relative magnitude of the horizontal principal stresses are fairly uniform. The observed pattems of stress constrain mechanisms for generating intraplate lithospheric stresses. Coupled with new information on geologic structure and tectonism in seismically active areas of the Midcontinent and East, these data help to define some characteristics common to these areas and to identify key questions regarding why certain faults seem to be seismically active.