Structure of the western Somali Basin
Bunce, Elizabeth T.
Langseth, Marcus G.
Chase, R. L.
Ewing, W. Maurice
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KeywordInternational Indian Ocean Expedition (1960-1965); Chain (Ship : 1958-) Cruise CH43; Marine geophysics; Seismic reflection method
The western Somali Basin in the northwestern Indian Ocean is covered by thick deposits of terrigenous sediments. Seismic reflection profiles show, however, the northern and southern parts to be very different. The northern sections is a deep basin filled with thick uniformly stratified sediments. It is enclosed by the continental margin to the west and north, Chain ridge to the east, and shallow basement structure to the south. A change in depth of basement occurs along an approximately east-west line at latitude 3°30'N very near the southern end of Chain ridge. In the southern portion of the basin the basement is shallow, and, immediately south of latitude 3°30'N, it has high relief. Stratified flat-lying sediments fill the basement depressions, and isolated hills formed of basement material rise above the abyssal plain deposits. Farther to the south the abyssal plain becomes very narrow. Gabbro dredged from the southeast slope of Chain ridge has been dated by the potassium-argon method as 89.6 ± 4.5 m.y., which should be considered a minimum age. The evidence suggests that the entire sediment sequence of the northern basin was deposited subsequent to the formation of the ridge. The thin sediment cover of the southern portion of the basin is probably no older than Tertiary.
Originally issued as Reference No. 67-38, series later renamed WHOI-. Reprint from Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 72, no. 10, May 1967.