Tectonophysics 1979–1982



Studies in tectonophysics are becoming increasingly interdisciplinary: Hence there was an attempt in this report to concentrate on subjects that have attracted particularly broad interest during this quadrennium, rather than concentrating on the activities of the individual disciplines.

One of the strongest debates during this period has been on the state of stress in the lithosphere, reported on by M. Zoback. This debate has centered on the conflict between the low heat flow over the San Andreas fault, which suggests very low stresses, and the experimentally determined laws of rock friction, which suggest the opposite. Other lines of evidence, such as that of shear heating in ductile shear zones, in situ stress measurements, and strengths necessary to support flexure of the lithosphere, and paleopiezometry have also been brought into the debate, all of which seem to support the latter point of view.