What is it about?

Using deep seismic reflection data, we show that the basement underlying the evaporites forms a large ridge, much like a mid-ocean ridge. Such features are not found in continental rifts, so this is evidence that oceanic crust underlies the Red Sea. However, about 60 km away from the centre of that ridge, the basement changes dip and starts to rise towards the coasts. At about that point, the gravity anomalies change character. We suggest this is where the stretched continental crust (near to the coast) stops and the oceanic crust begins.

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Why is it important?

The type of crust in the Red Sea, whether oceanic or continental, has been controversial. These results show that it is oceanic at least in the central Red Sea.

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This page is a summary of: Oceanic-like axial crustal high in the central Red Sea, Tectonophysics, November 2018, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2018.10.011.
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