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Volume 7, issue 3
Solid Earth, 7, 965–978, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-7-965-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Solid Earth, 7, 965–978, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-7-965-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 20 Jun 2016

Research article | 20 Jun 2016

Seismic structure beneath the Gulf of Aqaba and adjacent areas based on the tomographic inversion of regional earthquake data

Sami El Khrepy1,2, Ivan Koulakov3,4, Nassir Al-Arifi1, and Alexey G. Petrunin5,6,7 Sami El Khrepy et al.
  • 1King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
  • 2National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, Seismology Department, NRIAG, 11421 Helwan, Egypt
  • 3Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics SB RAS, Prospekt Koptyuga 630090, Novosibirsk, Russia
  • 4Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia
  • 5Goethe University, 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 6GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 7Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, B. Gruzinskaya 10, Moscow, Russia

Abstract. We present the first 3-D model of seismic P and S velocities in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath the Gulf of Aqaba and surrounding areas based on the results of passive travel time tomography. The tomographic inversion was performed based on travel time data from ∼ 9000 regional earthquakes provided by the Egyptian National Seismological Network (ENSN), and this was complemented with data from the International Seismological Centre (ISC). The resulting P and S velocity patterns were generally consistent with each other at all depths. Beneath the northern part of the Red Sea, we observed a strong high-velocity anomaly with abrupt limits that coincide with the coastal lines. This finding may indicate the oceanic nature of the crust in the Red Sea, and it does not support the concept of gradual stretching of the continental crust. According to our results, in the middle and lower crust, the seismic anomalies beneath the Gulf of Aqaba seem to delineate a sinistral shift (∼ 100 km) in the opposite flanks of the fault zone, which is consistent with other estimates of the left-lateral displacement in the southern part of the Dead Sea Transform fault. However, no displacement structures were visible in the uppermost lithospheric mantle.

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Three-dimensional seismic structures beneath the Gulf of Aqaba are presented for the first time for the southern part of the Dead Sea. A regional earthquake tomography method is applied to P and S waves data. The new results indicate new perspectives suggesting an oceanic nature of the crust in the northern part of the Red Sea, disagreeing with the hypothesis of a gradual stretching of the continental crust.
Three-dimensional seismic structures beneath the Gulf of Aqaba are presented for the first time...
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