Seismic stratigraphy and correlation of major regional unconformities in the northern Arabian Sea
Published:January 01, 2002
Christoph Gaedicke, Alexander Prexl, Hans-Ulrich Schlüter, Heinrich Meyer, Hans Roeser, Peter Clift, 2002. "Seismic stratigraphy and correlation of major regional unconformities in the northern Arabian Sea", The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region, P. D. Clift, D. Kroon, C. Gaedicke, J. Craig
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In the northern Arabian Sea the Arabian, Eurasian and Indian Plates are in tectonic interaction with one another. We present interpretations of multichannel seismic profiles across the Makran sub-duction zone (which is part of the Eurasian-Arabian Plate boundary) and the transtensional Murray Ridge and Dalrymple Trough (which are part of the Arabian-Indian Plate boundary). We distinguish four megasequences in the sedimentary succession, which we correlate over the entire study area. Regional unconformities separate the megasequences and enable us to establish a common history of the region before Late Miocene time (c. 20 Ma). The Early Pliocene (c. 4.5 Ma) reopening of the Gulf of Aden caused a reorganization of the plates and subsequent tilting of the oceanic crust of the Arabian Plate toward the Makran subduction zone. This event is documented by the regional M-unconformity. Since that time, sedimentation on the Oman Abyssal Plain has been permanently separated from the Indus Fan by the Murray Ridge, on the northern end of which there has been no significant sedimentation.
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The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region
Over long periods of time the tectonic evolution of the solid Earth has been recognized as the major control on the development of the global climate system. Tectonic activity acts in one of two different ways to influence regional and global climate: (i) through the opening and closing of oceanic gateways and its effect on the circulation patterns in the global ocean; (ii) through the growth and erosion of orogenic belts, resulting in changes in oceanic chemistry and disruption of atmospheric circulation. The Arabian Sea region has several features that make it the best area for studies of climate and palaeoceanographic responses to tectonic activity, most notably in the context of the South Asian monsoon and its relationship to the growth of high topography in the adjacent Himalayas and Tibet.
The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region brings together a collection of recent studies on the area from a wide group of international contributors. The paper range from high resolution, Holocene palaeoceanographic studies of the Pakistan margin to regional tectonic reconstructions of the ocean basin and surrounding margins throughout the Cenozoic. Marine geophysics, stratigraphy, isotope chemistry and neotectonics come together in a multidisciplinary approach to the study of interactions of land and sea. while much work remains to be done to understand fully the tectonic and climatic evolution of the Arabian Sea, a great deal has been achieved since the last major review, as detailed in the 26 contributions. This volume is essential reading for palaeoceanographers, sedimentologists and geophysicists. It will also be interest to structural geologists and those working in the petroleum industry.