Seismic Stresses in Southern Germany

  • Götz Schneider
Conference paper
Part of the Rock Mechanics / Felsmechanik / Mécanique des Roches book series (ROCK, volume 9)


Southern Germany as a tectonic and seismotectonic unit has the shape of a triangle. The borders of this area are formed by the eastern main fault of the Upper Rhinegraben, the chains of the folded Molasse layers in the north of the alpine nap area and the fractures at the southwestern edge of the Bohemian massiv. The most epicenters of this region are alined in zones striking NNE (“Rhenish direction”) or NW (“Hercynian direction”). As can be deduced from fault-plane solutions, the prominent type of seismotectonic motions consists of horizontal strike slip motions along those directions. Measurements made with a larger number of mobile and permanent seismological stations in the most active area of this region, the western part of the Swabian Jura, confirm the a/m results. The observations made to date indicate that the direction of P 1 (P 1 = largest principal stress) is about NNW. One can see a tendency for a more northern direction of Pi if one goes in Southern Germany from west to east. A comparison will be made between tectonic and seismotectonic observations.


Tectonic Unit Molasse Basin Strike Angle Seismic Stress Southwestern Edge 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Götz Schneider
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeophysicsUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartFederal Republic of Germany

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