Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 925–934 | Cite as

Upper mantle anisotropy of southeast Arabia passive margin [Gulf of Aden northern conjugate margin], Oman

  • Ali Al-Lazki
  • Cindy Ebinger
  • Michael Kendall
  • George Helffrich
  • Sylvie Leroy
  • Christel Tiberi
  • Graham Stuart
  • Khalfan Al-Toobi
Original Paper


In this study, we used data recorded by two consecutive passive broadband deployments on the Gulf of Aden northern margin, Dhofar region, Sultanate of Oman. The objective of these deployments is to map the young eastern Gulf of Aden passive continental margin crust and upper mantle structure and rheology. In this study, we use shear-wave splitting analysis to map lateral variations of upper mantle anisotropy beneath the study area. In this study, we found splitting magnitudes to vary between 0.33 and 1.0 s delay times, averaging about 0.6 s for a total of 17 stations from both deployment periods. Results show distinct abrupt lateral anisotropy variation along the study area. Three anisotropy zones are identified: a western zone dominated by NW–SE anisotropy orientations, an eastern zone dominated with NE–SW anisotropy orientations, and central zone with mixed anisotropy orientations similar to the east and west zones. We interpret these shorter wavelength anisotropy zones to possibly represent fossil lithospheric mantle anisotropy. We postulate that the central anisotropy zone may be representing a Proterozoic suture zone that separates two terranes to the east and west of it. The anisotropy zones west and east were being used indicative of different terranes with different upper mantle anisotropy signatures.


Gulf of Aden Arabia SKS Shear-wave splitting Anisotropy Passive continental margin 



The authors are grateful to all who have contributed directly or indirectly to this work. This work was supported by NERC grant NE/C514031/1 and a Royal Society travel grant to the first author. GDR Margins contribution.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Al-Lazki
    • 1
  • Cindy Ebinger
    • 2
  • Michael Kendall
    • 3
  • George Helffrich
    • 3
  • Sylvie Leroy
    • 4
  • Christel Tiberi
    • 5
  • Graham Stuart
    • 6
  • Khalfan Al-Toobi
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesCollege of Science, Sultan Qaboos UniversityAlkhodhSultanate of Oman
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  4. 4.ISTEP UPMC CNRS Paris06ParisFrance
  5. 5.Geosciences MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  6. 6.School of Earth SciencesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  7. 7.Earthquake Monitoring CenterSultan Qaboos UniversityAlkhodhSultanate of Oman

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