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Geomechanical and geological datasets from fold–thrust belts and passive margins that have been subject to neotectonic activity often provide contradictory evidence for the state of contemporary stress. Southeastern Australia has relatively high levels of neotectonic activity for a so-called stable continental region. In the eastern Otway Basin, this neotectonic activity consists of compressional deformation and uplift, indicating a reverse fault stress regime. However, this is inconsistent with the stress magnitudes estimated from petroleum exploration data, which indicate normal or strike-slip fault stress regimes. A new wellbore failure analysis of 12 wells indicates that the maximum horizontal stress azimuth in...

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