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Contemporary crustal stress pattern of Australia

Event Type

Event Date

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Event Location

Event Address


Event Start

1200 (AWST)

Event End

1300 (AWST)

Event Details

Title: Contemporary crustal stress pattern of Australia



The present-day stress field of Australia has been the subject of great interest in the three past decades because it shows a variable pattern for the orientation of maximum horizontal stress (SHmax) that is not parallel to absolute plate motion. Analysis of in-situ stress data across Australia (in >20 sedimentary basins) reveals four major trends for the orientation of SHmax including NE-SW in northern, northwestern and northeastern Australia, E-W in southern half of Western Australia and South Australia, ENE-WSW in most parts of eastern Australia and NW-SE in southeastern Australia. In addition, the results reveal significant rotation of stress within various sedimentary basins due to the presence of different geological structures, including basement structures, faults, fractures and lithological contrasts. Understanding and predicting local stress perturbations has major implications for determining the most productive fractures in petroleum and geothermal systems, and for modelling the propagation direction and vertical height growth of induced hydraulic fractures in unconventional reservoirs.

Biography of the presenter:

Dr Mojtaba Rajabi is an ARC DECRA Fellow at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland. He has over 12 years of extensive experience in crustal stress analysis, reservoir geomechanics, geomechanical-numerical modelling and petrophysics. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the University of Adelaide in 2017. Dr Rajabi has worked on the geomechanical analyses of >30 sedimentary basins from across the world including Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Mozambique, Iceland and Western Mediterranean. Since 2012, Dr Rajabi has worked on the Australian and World Stress Map projects. He has received >15 international awards and prizes for his research including the ARC-DECRA Award, the Australian SEG Early Achievement Award, EAGE Louis Cagniard Award, and the International Lithosphere Program’s Flinn-Hart Award.