Articles | Volume 12, issue 7
Research article
21 Jul 2021
Research article |  | 21 Jul 2021

Present-day geodynamics of the Western Alps: new insights from earthquake mechanisms

Marguerite Mathey, Christian Sue, Colin Pagani, Stéphane Baize, Andrea Walpersdorf, Thomas Bodin, Laurent Husson, Estelle Hannouz, and Bertrand Potin

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Subject area: Tectonic plate interactions, magma genesis, and lithosphere deformation at all scales | Editorial team: Seismics, seismology, paleoseismology, geoelectrics, and electromagnetics | Discipline: Seismology
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Cited articles

Alvarez-Gómez, J. A.: FMC – Earthquake focal mechanisms data management, cluster and classification, SoftwareX, 9, 299–307,, 2019. 
Baran, R., Friedrich, A. M., and Schlunegger, F.: The late Miocene to Holocene erosion pattern of the Alpine foreland basin reflects Eurasian slab unloading beneath the western Alps rather than global climate change, Lithosphere, 6, 124–131, 2014. 
Baroux, E., Béthoux, N., and Bellier, O.: Analyses of the stress field in southeastern France from earthquake focal mechanisms, Geophys. J. Int., 145, 336–348,, 2001. 
Bauve, V., Plateaux, R., Rolland, Y., Sanchez, G., Bethoux, N., Delouis, B., and Darnault, R.: Long-lasting transcurrent tectonics in SW Alps evidenced by Neogene to present-day stress fields, Tectonophysics, 621, 85–100,, 2014. 
Bertrand, A. and Sue, C.: Reconciling late faulting over the whole Alpine belt: from structural analysis to geochronological constrains, Swiss J. Geosci., 110, 565–580, 2017. 
Short summary
This work features the highest-resolution seismic stress and strain fields available at the present time for the analysis of the active crustal deformation of the Western Alps. In this paper, we address a large dataset of newly computed focal mechanisms from a statistical standpoint, which allows us to suggest a joint control from far-field forces and from buoyancy forces on the present-day deformation of the Western Alps.