Natural Hazards

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 185–199 | Cite as

Structural elements of the Makran region, Oman sea and their potential relevance to tsunamigenisis

  • Mohammad MokhtariEmail author
  • Iraj Abdollahie Fard
  • Khaled Hessami
Original Paper


The character of convergence along the Arabian–Iranian plate boundary changes radically eastward from the Zagros ranges to the Makran region. This appears to be due to collision of continental crust in the west, in contrast to subduction of oceanic crust in the east. The Makran subduction zone with a length of about 900 km display progressively older and highly deformed sedimentary units northward from the coast, together with an increase in elevation of the ranges. North of the Makran ranges are large subsiding basins, flanked to the north by active volcanoes. Based on 2D seismic reflection data obtained in this study, the main structural provinces and elements in the Gulf of Oman include: (i) the structural elements on the northeastern part of the Arabian Plate and, (ii) the Offshore Makran Accretionary Complex. Based on detailed analysis of these data on the northeastern part of the Arabian Plate five structural provinces and elements—the Musendam High, the Musendam Peneplain, the Musendam Slope, the Dibba Zone, and the Abyssal Plain have been identified. Further, the Offshore Makran Accretionary Complex shown is to consist Accretionary Prism and the For-Arc Basin, while the Accretionary Prism has been subdivided into the Accretionary Wedge and the Accreted/Colored Mélange. Lastly, it is important to note that the Makran subduction zone lacks the trench. The identification of these structural elements should help in better understanding the seismicity of the Makran region in general and the subduction zone in particular. The 1945 magnitude 8.1 tsunamigenic earthquake of the Makran and some other historical events are illustrative of the coastal region’s vulnerability to future tsunami in the area, and such data should be of value to the developing Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System.


Makran Tsunami wave heights Subduction zone Accretionary margin Dibba Fault Zone Indian Ocean Seismic reflection 



The authors would like to thank National Iranian Oil Company, Exploration Directorate for providing the seismic sections and permission for their publication. The authors would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Mokhtari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Iraj Abdollahie Fard
    • 2
  • Khaled Hessami
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and SeismologyTehranIran
  2. 2.National Iranian Oil Company, Exploration DirectorateTehranIran

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