The Plate Boundary North of Australia

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Epicentres of recent shallow earthquakes in the region (3-12┬ŽS, 126-150`E) were plotted to identify the various plate boundaries in the region, in particular the southernmost one marking the northern edge of the Australian plate. New and published fault plane solutions were examined to determine the style of faulting and state of stress along the Australian plate boundary. From east to west the boundary is first a subduction zone along the Solomon Islands, then a spreading centre across the Solomon Sea, a zone of compression and left lateral strike slip along the Papua Peninsula, almost pure thrusting across the centre of New Guinea and lastly left lateral strike silo through Irian Taya to the outer Banda Arc. The principal stress is very consistent, trending NW to NNW in a near horizontal plane, from the triple junction of the Pacific, Solomon Sea and Australian plates in the east to the Banda Sea in the west. Only along southern Solomon Sea plate margin which is a divergent boundary, is the stress different in type and direction.
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