Seismic and hydroacoustic studies of surficial sediment tectonics along the northern Red Sea Rift and the Dead Sea Transform fault


This work presents multichannel seismic and hydroacoustic data of four survey areas along the Red Sea Rift and the Dead Sea Transform Fault. Sedimentary Basins that developed due to the rifting of the Red Sea and the strike-slip displacement of the Dead Sea Transform Fault were investigated and models for their evolution were derived. The Red Sea Rift and the Dead Sea Transform Fault are the main tectonic features in the Middle East. The rifting process of the Red Sea that initiated in the late Oligocene and early Miocene separated the African Plate from the Arabian Plate. In the Middle Miocene, the extension was compensated in the northern part of the Red Sea with the initiation of the left lateral Dead Sea Transform Fault. Along the Red Sea, different stages of evolution can be observed. Whereas the southern part comprises already seafloor spreading, the northern part is assumed to be in the late stage of continental rifting. Because of huge evaporitic sediment layers within the entire Red Sea, direct basement observations are sparse. Surficial features like ocean deeps along the axis of the Red Sea are interpreted as first seafloor spreading cells in the transition process between seafloor spreading and continental rifting. Along the Dead Sea Transform Fault, 105 km of left lateral displacement are observed within the last 20 Ma. The displacement is most likely not continuous since its onset. The Dead Sea Transform Fault may have experienced a break in its history before 5 Ma...
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