TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 52 (No. 10), pp. 765-770, 2000

On the determination of a global strain rate model

Corné Kreemer1, John Haines2, William E. Holt1, Geoffrey Blewitt3, and David Lavallee4

1Department of Geosciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, U.S.A.
2Bullard Laboratories, Cambridge University, U.K.
3Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, and Seismological Laboratory, University of Nevada, Reno, U.S.A.
4Department of Geomatics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

(Received December 28, 1999; Revised June 12, 2000; Accepted June 13, 2000)

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to outline the fundamental concepts underlying the estimation of a global strain rate model. We use a variant of the method first introduced by Haines and Holt (1993) to estimate the strain rate tensor field within all of the Earth's deforming regions. Currently the observables used are ~1650 geodetic velocities, seismic moment tensors from the Harvard CMT catalog, and Quaternary fault slip rate data. A model strain rate field and velocity field are obtained in a least-squares fit to both the geodetic velocities and the observed strain rates inferred from fault slip rates. Seismic moment tensors are used to provide a priori constraints on the style and direction (not magnitude) of the model strain rate field for regions where no fault slip rate data are available. The model will soon be expanded to include spreading rates, ocean transform azimuths, and more fault slip rate data. We present a first estimate of the second invariant of the global model strain rate field. We also present Euler poles obtained by fitting geodetic vectors located on defined rigid plates. We find that 17% of the total model moment rate is accommodated in zones of (diffuse) continental deformation.

Corresponding author E-mail: kreemer@horizon.ess.sunysb.edu

[Full text] (PDF 512 KB)