Gulf of Aqaba: A new structural model from high resolution multibeam bathymetric data

Ribot, Matthieu
Klinger, Yann
Jónsson, Sigurjón
Avşar, Ulaş
Pons Branchu, Edwige
Matrau, Rémi
Anticlockwise rotation of the Arabian plate, coupled with its northward motion with respect to the Nubian plate, led to the opening of Gulf of Aqaba approximately 20 Myrs ago. Gulf of Aqaba is located at the junction between two different systems: the Red Sea extensional fault system and the Dead Sea strike-slip fault system, which accommodates mainly left-lateral strike-slip motion at a rate of about 5 ± 1 mm/yr. In addition to strike-slip, vertical motion, revealed by significant topographic relief and several earthquakes (e.g. the 1993 ML=5.8 earthquake), is accommodated in Gulf of Aqaba along an en echelon fault system. We present a new multibeam bathymetric dataset acquired during a research cruise of RV Thuwal from 20 May to 8 June, 2018, using a Kongsberg EM 710-MK2 multibeam echo sounder. We mapped in detail the eastern half of Gulf of Aqaba that lies within Saudi waters. We combined our new high-resolution data with the limited available multibeam data (F/S Meteor: Cruise 44 Leg 2) acquired in Egyptian waters, generating the most extensive multibeam bathymetric map of Gulf of Aqaba to date. The new map shows a number of geomorphological features in detail and we use it to propose a new structural model for Gulf of Aqaba.
Citation Formats
M. Ribot, Y. Klinger, S. Jónsson, U. Avşar, E. Pons Branchu, and R. Matrau, “Gulf of Aqaba: A new structural model from high resolution multibeam bathymetric data,” presented at the AGU Fall Meeting (10 - 14 December 2018), Washington, DC, USA, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: