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The Structural Pattern of the Afro-Arabian Rift System in Relation to Plate Tectonics [and Discussion]

B. H. Baker and R. B. McConnell
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Vol. 267, No. 1181, A Discussion on the Structure and Evolution of the Red Sea and the Nature of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Ethiopia Rift Junction (Oct. 29, 1970), pp. 383-391
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/73628
Page Count: 9
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The Structural Pattern of the Afro-Arabian Rift System in Relation to Plate Tectonics [and Discussion]
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Abstract

The structural pattern of the Afro-Arabian rift system suggests the influence of transcurrent faulting in the development of the main branches of the system, particularly along the Dead Sea rift, the Gulf of Suez and Red Sea, and the eastern rift of Africa. Geophysical evidence indicates that the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden formed as a result of the separation of the Arabian and African continental blocks. Previously determined rotation poles about which the blocks separated neglect some structural features of the region. A satisfactory refit of Arabia to Africa cannot be made unless some relative movements of parts of the Africa block too place. It is proposed that dextral strike-slip movements took place between Africa and Arabia along the Red Sea and that sinistral strike-slip movements occurred along the Dead Sea rift. In addition, rotation of the E. Kenya-Somalia block east of the eastern rift of Africa took place. Structural and palaeomagnetic evidence supports such movements. The structural model is compatible with the observed tectonic pattern and provides a genetic link between the formation of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the African rifts.

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