The World Stress Map (WSM) is the global compilation of information on the present-day stress field of the
Earth's crust with 21,750 stress data records in its current WSM database release 2008. It is a collaborative
project between academia, industry and government that aims to characterize the stress patterns and to
understand the stress sources.
The project commenced in 1986 as a part of the
International Lithosphere Program (ILP).
From 1995-2008, the WSM was a research project of the
Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Since 2009 the project is maintained and further developed at the
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.
The WSM project is a task group of the
International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI),
a constituent association of the
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG).
The WSM is also one of the 13 global services within the
Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical Data Analysis Services (FAGS)
that was formed by the
International Council for Science (ICSU).
Recently, after the nomination by the IUGG nominated with the support of the ILP and the
Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW),
the WSM project became in 2009 the co-label as an legacy item of the
International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE).
Who uses the WSM data?
The World Stress Map is used by various academic and industrial institutions working in a wide range
of Earth science disciplines such as geodynamics, hydrocarbon exploitations and engineering.
The main operational areas are:
- Basin modelling
- Geomechanical modelling
- Reservoir characterization and management
- Stability of mines, tunnels and boreholes
- Fault-slip tendency
- Seismic hazard assessment
How do I get the WSM data?
The World Stress Map is an open-access database. It can be downloaded through the
Stress Data subsection
which also provides details about the data, utilities for data plotting, stress maps for specific
regions, and many other useful information.
For comments or suggestions please send an e-mail.
Last update, August 2009, maintenance of this page: Oliver Heidbach