Intraplate stress state from finite element modelling: The southern border of the Spanish Central System



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Martín Velázquez, Silvia and Vicente Muñoz, Gerardo de and Elorza, Francisco José (2009) Intraplate stress state from finite element modelling: The southern border of the Spanish Central System. Tectonophysics . ISSN 0040-1951

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An elastic finite element approach has been used with the dual aim of determining the most appropriate
reference state of stress, namely a uniaxial strain state or a lithostatic state, and re fining the understanding of
the Iberian intraplate stresses. A cross-section model with an average crustal rheology and a flat topography
has been analysed first in order to evaluate the in fluence of boundary conditions and rheological properties
in the reference and tectonic stress states. The uniaxial and lithostatic states are obtained by including the
overburden weight and a compressive horizontal load, which equals the uniaxial and lithostatic stress
respectively, and provided that Poisson's ratio equals ~0.5 in the lithostatic state. On the other hand, a
tectonic state with a σHNσV regime is reproduced by adding a horizontal constant load. Subsequently,
constraints on the magnitude of the predicted Cenozoic stresses along a NW–SE cross-section in the southern
border of the Spanish Central System (in the Variscan granitic basement of El Berrocal) have been estimated
incorporating the topographic loading, lithological variations and the most recent far tectonic stresses. The
deep geological structure has been established from gravity modelling and geological data. To simulate the
active strike-slip to uniaxial extension regimes in the interior of Iberian Peninsula, a lithostatic initial state
has to be considered and a tectonic load in the range of 15–20 MPa has to be applied. The gradient of
maximum horizontal stress originated under these conditions is in the range of–350 MPa km− 1. These
results are in accordance with the estimated intraplate tectonic stress, the force along the convergent plate
boundary of Eurasia–Africa, the lithospheric strength of Iberia, and the direct measurements of stresses.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Reference states of stress; Tectonic stresses; Stress modelling; Gravity modelling; Iberian Peninsula
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Geodynamics
ID Code:9220
Deposited On:30 Jun 2009 09:16
Last Modified:31 Aug 2010 11:34

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