Abstract

Continuous seismic profiles in the Mediterranean Sea east of 22° E. show that deformation of the sedimentary strata increases toward the north and the west. The crest and northern flank of the East Mediterranean Ridge is characterized by fine-textured topographic relief associated with intensely fractured sub-bottom layers, whereas the southern flank is marked by coarser relief and strongly folded sub-bottom layers. These observations, the lack of extensive abyssal plains, and the presence of tilted sedimentary basins in the eastern Mediterranean, suggest that sedimentation has not kept pace with tectonic activity except perhaps in the Nile Cone.

The magnetic field over the area is remarkably smooth except over Eratosthenes Sea-mount and near the eastern and western ends of Cyprus. This smoothness could be the result of deep burial of the magnetic basement or the absence of susceptibility contrasts in the basement rock.

Evidence in the form of crustal deformation has been found for a postulated transcurrent fault which passes between Cyprus and Eratosthenes Seamount into Antalya Bay (southern coast of Turkey). This fault is thought to have formed when the African plate underthrust the European shield and hinterland and when the East Mediterranean Ridge was created.

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