Estimation of Arabian rigid plate motion and strain rate accumulation within the Arabian plate using GPS measurements

Almuslmani, Bandar Saleh (2010) Estimation of Arabian rigid plate motion and strain rate accumulation within the Arabian plate using GPS measurements. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The Arabian plate is classified as medium sized. It is surrounded by the Nubian, Somalian, Eurasian and Indian plates. Previous investigations of present-day kinematics of the Arabian plate using GPS measurements were primarily obtained from stations located on surrounding plates, with few stations actually located on the Arabian plate itself. Due to the inhomogeneous distribution of these GPS stations and the fact that some of these were actually located in the plate boundary zone, the motion of Arabia was only sensed in a few locations of the rigid plate interior.

Through the establishment of GPS networks in Saudi Arabia, the aim of this study was to compute an updated estimate for the absolute and relative motion of the Arabian plate Euler pole and rotation rate. Then to investigate, at the regional scale, the strain rate accumulation within the Arabian plate. Then, to investigate, at a local scale, the strain rate accumulation in the tectonically active south-western part of Saudi Arabia.

The results of this study are on absolute motion model for the Arabian plate which is significantly different from those obtained in previous studies, as a result of the number of stations used and their distribution. This does not mean that the previous studies were in error, but that they suffered from a lack of evenly distributed geodetic data for Arabia. Hence, this study result is a new contribution to the knowledge of Arabian plate motion. The results of this study for the relative motion model of the Arabian plate with respect to the Eurasian, Nubian and Somalian plates confirms the results from previous studies, and confirms that the Arabian plate motion is slowing down.

This study has also shown that, in general, the strain values are low in most of the Arabian plate, where there is a compression in the north-east to south-west directions and an extension in the north-west to south-east direction, except in two areas, the north-west, close to the Aqaba Gulf and the Dead Sea fault, and the southwest where there are high strain values and variable directions for the principle strain. Furthermore, this study agrees with geologic studies in that there is a compression north-east to south-west and extension north-west to south-east between Farasan Island and the coast of the Red Sea.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Bingley, R.M.
Moore, T.
Keywords: Global Positioning System, Strains and stresses, Measurement, Shields (Geology) Middle East, Arabian-Nubian Shield
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA 703 Engineering geology. Rock and soil mechanics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 30920
Depositing User: Airey, Ms Valerie
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2015 09:28
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2017 04:50

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