Abstract

A statistical analysis of the null axes of the fault-plane solutions of earthquakes in any one area permits determination of the average tectonic motion direction of that area. In the present paper this method has been applied to areas in central and western Asia for which several hundred fault-plane solutions are readily available in the literature. The investigation yields the result that (seismically) calculated tectonic motion directions in a series of small areas that are part of a larger unit are consistent with each other and that there is in every case an excellent correlation with the tectonic motion of the area as postulated from geological studies. This appears to justify completely the seismic method.

The seismically determined tectonic motion in central Asia appears to be mainly in a north-south direction. The motion refers to the present time (since the earthquakes occur at the present time), but it is the same as that postulated in geology for an explanation of the folding of the central Asian mountain ranges. This demonstrates that the stress system which created the central Asian mountains is active at the present time.

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