The sub-crustal stress estimation in central Eurasia from gravity, terrain and crustal structure models

Robert Tenzer, Mehdi Eshagh, Wenbin Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the horizontal stress field beneath crustal structures of central Eurasia. The numerical procedure applied for a simultaneous determination of the sub-crustal stress and the crustal thickness from the global gravity, terrain and crustal structure models is based on solving Navier-Stokes’ problem which incorporates the inverse solution to the Vening Meinesz- Moritz’s problem of isostasy. The numerical results reveal that a spatial distribution of the sub-crustal stress in this study area closely resembles the regional tectonic configuration comprising parts of the Eurasian, Indian and Arabian lithospheric plates. The maximum shear stress intensity is generated by a subduction of the Indian plate beneath the Tibetan block. The intra-plate tectonic configuration is marked by the stress anomalies distributed along major active strike-slip fault systems and sections of subduction which separate the Tibetan and Iranian blocks from the rest of the Eurasian plate. The most pronounced intra-plate stress anomalies are related with a subduction of the Eurasian plate beneath the Tibetan block. We also demonstrate that a prevailing convergent orientation of stress vectors agree with the compressional tectonism of orogenic formations (Himalaya and Tibet Plateau, Than Shan, Zargos and Iranian Plateau), while the extensional tectonism of continental basins (Tarim, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Sichuan) is manifested by a divergence of stress vectors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalGeosciences Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • crust
  • gravity
  • Moho
  • stress field
  • Tibet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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