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The Crustal Stress Field of Northern Chile
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  • Carlos Herrera,
  • John F Cassidy,
  • Stan E Dosso,
  • Jan Dettmer,
  • Wasja Bloch,
  • Christian Sippl,
  • Pablo Salazar
Carlos Herrera
University of Victoria

Corresponding Author:carlosfherrera@uvic.ca

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John F Cassidy
Natural Resources Canada
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Stan E Dosso
University of Victoria
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Jan Dettmer
University of Calgary
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Wasja Bloch
Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin
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Christian Sippl
Institute of Geophysucs, Czech Academy of Sciences
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Pablo Salazar
Universidad Catolica del Norte
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The spatial variability of the regional crustal stress in northern Chile is resolved. We infer a margin-parallel compressive crustal stress regime along the coastal region, similar to crustal stress observations in Cascadia and Japan. The Andean Precordillera shows a distinct stress field associated with a strike-slip faulting regime. These results are constrained by over a decade of observations, for which earthquake catalogs report thousands of events in the continental crust. We present focal mechanisms for 817 of these crustal earthquakes, including mechanism qualities. The best mechanisms were grouped and inverted to infer the stress-field variability. We interpret the margin-parallel compression to be caused by the concave shape of the margin and the locking of the plate interface. The inferred strike-slip regime in the Andes agrees with previous studies and has been proposed to be mostly caused by local stresses imposed by a thicker crust.