Tectonics of the western Gulf of Oman

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White, Robert S.
Ross, David A.
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Gulf of Oman
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Submarine geology
Plate tectonics
The Oman line, running northward from the Strait of Hormuz separates a continent‐continent plate boundary to the northwest (Persian Gulf region) from an ocean‐continent plate boundary to the southeast (Gulf of Oman region). A large basement ridge detected on multichannel seismic reflection and gravity profiles to the west of the Oman line is probably a subsurface continuation of the Musandam peninsula beneath the Strait of Hormuz. Collision and underthrusting beneath Iran of the Arabian plate on which this ridge lies has caused many of the large earthquakes that have occurred in this region. Convergence between the oceanic crust of the Arabian plate beneath the Gulf of Oman and the continental Eurasian plate beneath Iran to the north is accommodated by northward dipping subduction. A deformed sediment prism which forms the offshore Makran continental margin and which extends onto land in the Iranian Makran has accumulated above the descending plate. In the western part of the Gulf of Oman, continued convergence has brought the opposing continental margin of Oman into contact with the Makran continental margin. This is an example of the initial stages of a continent‐continent type collision. A model of imbricate thrusting is proposed to explain the development of the fold ridges and basins on the Makran continental margin. Sediments from the subducting plate are buckled and incorporated into the edge of the Makran continental margin in deformed wedges and subsequently uplifted along major faults that penetrate the accretionary prism further to the north.
Also published as: Journal of Geophysical Research 84 (1979): 3479-3489
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White, R. S., & Ross, D. A. (1979). Tectonics of the western Gulf of Oman. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. https://doi.org/10.1575/1912/10338
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