Slip-tendency analysis is a new technique that permits rapid assessment of stress states and related potential fault activity. The tendency of a surface to undergo slip in a given stress field depends on its frictional characteristics (primarily controlled by rock type) and the ratio of shear to normal stress acting on the surface, here defined as slip tendency (determined by orientation of the surface within the stress field). An interactive computer tool displays the stress tensor in terms of its associated slip-tendency distribution and the relative likelihood and direction of slip on surfaces of all orientations. The technique provides easy visualization and rapid evaluation of stress in terms of its potential for causing slip on individual faults or fault populations for use in seismic-risk and fault-rupture–risk assessment, exploration for high-risk and earthquake-prone blind faults, selection of likely earthquake focal mechanism solutions, and for use in analysis of compatibility of geologic structures.

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