Focal mechanisms and the stress regime in NE and SW Tanzania, East Africa

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We report 12 new focal mechanisms from earthquakes in NE and SW Tanzania where the stress regime within the East African rift system is not well constrained. Focal mechanisms for events at the intersection of the Lake Tanganyika and Rukwa rifts in SW Tanzania indicate a complicated stress pattern with possible dextral strike-slip motion on some faults but oblique motion on others (either sinistral on NW striking faults or dextral on NE striking faults). Within the Rukwa rift, focal mechanisms indicate normal dip-slip motion with NE-SW opening. In NE Tanzania where the Eastern rift impinges on the margin of the Tanzania Craton, fault motions are consistent with a zone of distributed block faults and sub E-W extension. All twelve earthquakes likely nucleated within the crust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 28 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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