Advertisement

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

References

  1. Bayer R, Chery J, Tatar M, Vernant P, Abbassi M, Masson F, Nilforoushan F, Doerflinger E, Regard V, Bellier O (2006) Active deformation in Zagros–Makran transition zone inferred from GPS measurements. Geophys J Int 165:373–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Byrne DE, Sykes LR, Davis DM (1992) Great thrust earthquakes and aseismic slip along the plate boundary of the Makran subduction zone. J Geophys Res 97(B1):449–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dominey-Howes D, Cummins P, Burbidge D (2007) Historic records of teletsunami in the Indian Ocean and insights from numerical modelling. Nat Hazards 42(1):1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Edwards RA, Minshull TA, White RS (2000) Extension across the Indian Arabian plate boundary: the Murray Ridge. Geophys J Int 142:461–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Farhoudi G, Karig DE (1977) The Makran of Iran and Pakistan as an Active Arc System. Abstr., EOS Trans., Am Geophys Union 58:446Google Scholar
  6. Glennie KW (2000) Cretaceous tectonic evolution of Arabia’s eastern plate margin: a tale of two oceans. SEPM special publication 69, pp 9–20Google Scholar
  7. Glennie KW, Boeuf MGA, Hughes Clarke MW, Moody-Stuart M, Pilaar WFH, Reinhardt BM (1973) Late Cretaceous nappes in Oman Mountains and their geologic evolution. AAPG Bull 57:5–27Google Scholar
  8. Hacker BR (1994) Rapid emplacement of young oceanic lithosphere: argon geochronology of the Oman ophiolite. Science 265:1563–1565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jackson J, Haines J, Holt W (1995) The accommodation of Arabia-Eurasia plate convergence in Iran. J Geophys Res 100:15205–15219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kukowski N, Schillhorn T, Flueh ER, Huhn K (2000) Newly identified strike-slip plate boundary in the northeastern Arabian Sea. Geology 28(4):355–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lamphere MA (1981) K-Ar ages of metamorphic rocks at the base of the Semail Ophiolites, Oman. J Geophys Res 86:2777–2782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lisitzin E (1974) Sea level changes. Elsevier oceanographic series, vol 8, New York, p 273Google Scholar
  13. Mathur SM (1988) Physical geology of India. National Book Trust of India, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  14. McCall GJH (ed) (1985) Area report, East Iran project, area no: 1 (North Makran and South Beluchistan), Geological Survey of IranGoogle Scholar
  15. Montigny R, Le Mer O, Thuizat R, Whitechurch H (1988) K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar study of metamorphic rocks associated with Oman ophiolite: Tectonic implications. Tectonophysics 151:345–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Murty TS, Rafiq M (1991) A tentative list of tsunamis in the marginal seas of the north Indian Ocean. Nat Hazards 4(1):81–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Murty TS, Bapat A (1999) Tsunamis on the coastlines of India. Sci Tsunami Hazards 17(3):167–172Google Scholar
  18. Nicolas A (1988) Structures of ophiolites and dynamics of oceanic lithosphere. Petrology and structural geology 4. Kluwer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  19. Pacheco J, Sykes L (1992) Seismic moment catalog of large shallow earthquakes, 1900 to 1989. Bull Seismol Soc Am 82:1306–1349Google Scholar
  20. Page WD, Alt JN, Cluff LS, Plafker G (1979) Evidence for the recurrence of large-magnitude earthquakes along the Makran Coast of Iran and Pakistan. Tectonophysics 52:533–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pararas-Carayannis G (2006) The potential of tsunami generation along the Makran Subduction Zone in the northern Arabian Sea. Case study: the earthquake and Tsunami of November 28, 1945. Sci Tsunami Hazards 24(5):358–384Google Scholar
  22. Platt JP, Leggett JK, Young J, Raza H, Alam S (1985) Large-scale sediment underplating in the Makran accretionary prism, southwest Pakistan. Geology 13:507–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Quittmeyer RC, Jacob KH (1979) Historical and modem seismicity of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Northwestern India, and Southeastern Iran. Bull Seismol Soc Am 69(3):773–823Google Scholar
  24. Quittmeyer VN, Kafka AL (1984) Constraints on plate motions in southern Pakistan and northern Arabian Sea from focal mechanisms of small earthquakes. J Geophys Res 89:2444–2458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rastogi BK, Jaiswal RK (2006) A catalog of tsunamis in the Indian Ocean. Sci Tsunami Hazards 25(3):128–143Google Scholar
  26. Shearman DJ (1977) The geological evolution of Southern Iran, the report of the Iranian Makran expedition. Geogr J 142:393–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stoneley R (1974) Evolution of the continental margins bounding a former Tethys. In: Burk CA, Drake CL (eds) The geology of continental margins. Springer, New York, pp 889–903Google Scholar
  28. Vernant P, Nilforoushan F, Hatzfeld D, Abbasi MR, Vigny C, Masson F, Nankali H, Martinod J, Ashtiani A (2004) Present-day crustal deformation and plate kinematics in Middle East constrained by GPS measurements in Iran and northern Oman. Geophys J Int 157:381–398Google Scholar
  29. White RS, Louden KE (1982) The Makran continental margin: structure of a thickly sedimented convergent plate boundary. In: Watkins JS, Drake CL (eds) Studies in continental margin geology, vol 34. Mem Am Assoc Petrol Geol, pp 499–518Google Scholar
  30. White RS, Ross DA (1979) Tectonics of the Western Gulf of Oman. J Geophys Res 84:3479–3489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yamini-Fard F, Hatzfeld D, Farahbod AM, Paul A, Mokhtari M (2007) The diffuse transition between the Zagros continental collision and the Makran oceanic subduction (Iran): microearthquake seismicity and crustal structure. Geophys J Int 170:182–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations