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Tectonic geomorphology of the Gulf of Oman Basin
Uchupi, E.; Swift, S.A.; Ross, D.A. (2002). Tectonic geomorphology of the Gulf of Oman Basin. Geol. Soc. Lond. Spec. publ. 195: 37-69
In: Hartley, A.J. et al. (Ed.) Geological Society Special Publication. Geological Society of London: Oxford; London; Edinburgh; Boston, Mass.; Carlton, Vic.. ISSN 0305-8719, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Uchupi, E.; Swift, S.A.; Ross, D.A. (2002). Tectonic geomorphology of the Gulf of Oman Basin, in: Clift, P.D. et al. The tectonic and climatic evolution of the Arabian Sea region. Geological Society Special Publication, 195: pp. 37-69, more

Available in  Authors 

    Ocean basins; Satellite altimetry; Seismic reflection; Tectonics; ISW, Oman Gulf [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Uchupi, E.
  • Swift, S.A.
  • Ross, D.A.

    The margins of the Gulf of Oman Basin range from convergent at the north to translation at the west and east, and passive at the south. The basin's northern margin has been a site of continous subduction since Cretaceous time, which has led to the creation of an 800 km long and 650 km wide accretionary wedge, most of which is above sea level. Strata in the centre of the Gulf of Oman Basin display minor deformation resulting from the northward tilting of oceanic crust. A basin-wide unconformity dividing these strata in two was the result of erosion during Early Oligocene time when bottom water circulation was enhanced during a climatic deterioration. The morphology of the basin's south margin is due to Early Triassic rifting, deposition during Jurassic-Early Cretaceous time, early Late Cretaceous ophiolite obduction and Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic deposition. The western side of the accretionary wedge, along the north side of the Gulf of Oman Basin, is in sharp contact with the western translation margin. Structures along this margin are the result of post-Eocene convergence of the Lut and Central Iran microplates. The eastern end of the accretionary wedge, however, is not in contact with the eastern transform margin, but is separated from it by a north-trending trough. The landward extension of this trough is defined by the north-trending Las Bela Valley. The eastern side of the accretionary wedge turns northward at 65°30?N along the west side of the trough and becomes aligned with the north-trending Ornach-Nal Fault along the west side of the Las Bela Valley. Similarly, the Murray Ridge complex turns northward at 25°N and becomes aligned with the north-trending Surjan Fault on the Las Bela Valley's east side. The Ornach-Nal and Surjan faults merge at the apex of the Las Bela Valley with the north-trending Las Bela-Chaman Structural Axis. Differences between the eastern and western sides of the accretionary wedge may be due to the presence of the Ormara microplate on the eastern end of the wedge, a plate that is being pushed ahead of the Arabian plate. The morphology of the Murray Ridge complex is the result of transtension and secondary compression along the Indian-Arabian plate boundary. We infer that most of the relief of the Murray Ridge complex resulted from a change in plate geometry in Early Miocene time. Subsequent tectonic Pliocene-Quaternary events have enhanced this relief.

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