abstract

During the course of a seismic refraction investigation in Saudi Arabia, an unexpected high level of microearthquake activity was detected near the border of the Red Sea and near the transition from oceanic to continental crust. The data is not adequate to determine fault plane solutions nor to relate the earthquakes to specific structures, but the existence of microearthquakes at this location suggest that there is a significant level of tectonic activity at a point 200 km from an axial trough of the Red Sea. These data, combined with other recent geological observations, may be an important clue to the understanding of continental rifting. The data suggest the need for a more thorough investigation of the earthquake hazard along the shores of the Red Sea.

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