Data Publications

World Stress Map 2016

  • Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
  • 2016
  • World Stress Map 2016
  • 10.5880/WSM.2016.002
  • crustal stress
  • crustal stress pattern
  • geophysics
  • in situ stress
  • tectonic stress
  • tectonics
  • The World Stress Map (WSM) is a global compilation of information on the crustal present-day stress field. It is a collaborative project between academia and industry that aims to characterize the stress pattern and to understand the stress sources. It commenced in 1986 as a project of the International Lithosphere Program under the leadership of Mary-Lou Zoback. From 1995-2008 it was a project of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities headed first by Karl Fuchs and then by Friedemann Wenzel. Since 2009 the WSM is maintained at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and since 2012 the WSM is a member of the ICSU World Data System. All stress information is analysed and compiled in a standardized format and quality-ranked for reliability and comparability on a global scale. The stress map displays A-C quality stress data records of the upper 40 km of the Earth’s crust from the WSM database release 2016 (doi:10.5880/WSM.2016.001). Focal mechanism solutions determined as being potentially unreliable (labelled as Possible Plate Boundary Events in the database) are not displayed. Further detailed information on the WSM quality ranking scheme, guidelines for the various stress indicators, and software for stress map generation and the stress pattern analysis is available at
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