Earthquakes occurred on the surface of the Earth contain comprehensive and abundant geodynamic connotations, and can serve as important sources for describing the present-day stress field and regime. An important advantage of the earthquake focal mechanism solution is the ability to obtain the stress pattern information at depth in the lithosphere. During the past several decades, an increasing number of focal mechanisms were available for estimating the present-day stress field and regime. In the present study, altogether 553 focal mechanism data ranging from the year 1976 to 2017 with $Mw \ge7.0$ were compiled in the Global/Harvard centroid moment tensor (CMT) catalogue, the characteristics of global strong earthquakes and the present-day stress pattern were analyzed based on these data. The majority of global strong earthquakes are located around the plate boundaries, shallow-focus, and thrust faulting (TF) regime. We grouped 518 of them into 12 regions (Boxes) based on their geographical proximity and tectonic setting. For each box, the present-day stress field and regime were obtained by formal stress inversion. The results indicated that the maximum horizontal principal stress direction was ∼N–S-trending in western North America continent and southwestern Indonesia, ∼NNE–SSW-trending in western Middle America and central Asia, ∼NE–SW in southeastern South America continent and northeastern Australia, ∼NEE–SWW-trending in western South America continent and southeastern Asia, ∼E–W-trending in southeastern Australia, and ∼NW–SE-trending in eastern Asia. The results can provide additional constraints to the driving forces and geodynamic models, allowing them to explain the current plate interactions and crustal tectonic complexities better.
Volume 130, 2021
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