Paleostress orientations and relative paleostress magnitudes (stress ratios). determined by using the reduced stress concept. are used to improve the understanding of the kinematic characteristics of the Denizli Basin. Two different dominant extension directions were determined using fault-slip data and travertine fissure orientations. In addition to their stratigraphically coeval occurrence. the almost exact fit of the sigma(2) and sigma(3) orientations for the NE-SW and NW-SE extension directions in the Late Miocene to Recent units indicate that these two extension directions are a manifestation of stress permutations in the region and are contemporaneous. This relationship is also demonstrated by the presence of actively developing NE-SW and NW-SE elongated grabens developed as the result of NIE-SW and NW-SE directed extension in the region. Moreover, stress ratios plots indicate the presence of a zone of major stress ratio changes that are attributed to the interference of graben systems in the region. It is concluded that the plotting of stress orientations and distribution of stress ratios is a useful tool for detecting major differences in stress magnitudes over an area. the boundaries of which may indicate important Subsurface structures that cannot be observed on the surface. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.