When viewed with stress transformation laws and an idealized physical model, observations of oblique slip and slip partitioning in the Basin and Range (western United States) are interpreted to show that (1) separate regions with the same net extension direction are not necessarily characterized by the same regional stress field, (2) fault systems exhibiting partitioning where one of the faults is near vertical generally do not require temporal changes in the stress field to explain the disparate slip vectors on the adjacent faults, and (3) the relative strengths of active fault zones may vary by more than an order of magnitude.

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