Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Afar; East African Rift System; Gulf of Aden; InSAR; Red Sea; tectonics

Abstract

This work utilizes the Four-Dimensional Plates (4DPlates) software, and Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) to examine plate-scale, regional-scale and local-scale kinematics of the Afro-Arabian Rift System with emphasis on the Afar Depression in Ethiopia. First, the 4DPlates is used to restore the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Afar Depression and the Main Ethiopian Rift to development of a new model that adopts two poles of rotation for Arabia. Second, the 4DPlates is used to model regional-scale and local-scale kinematics within the Afar Depression. Most plate reconstruction models of the Afro-Arabian Rift System relies on considering the Afar Depression as a typical rift-rift-rift triple junction where the Arabian, Somali and Nubian (African) plates are separating by the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Main Ethiopian Rift suggesting the presence of "sharp and rigid" plate boundaries. However, at the regional-scale the Afar kinematics are more complex due to stepping of the Red Sea propagator and the Gulf of Aden propagator onto Afar as well as the presence of the Danakil, Ali Sabieh and East Central Block "micro-plates". This study incorporates the motion of these micro-plates into the regional-scale model and defined the plate boundary between the Arabian and the African plates within Afar as likely a diffused zone of extensional strain within the East Central Block. Third, DInSAR technology is used to create ascending and descending differential interferograms from the Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) C-Band data for the East Central Block to image active crustal deformation related to extensional tectonics and volcanism. Results of the DInSAR study indicate no strong strain localization but rather a diffused pattern of deformation across the entire East Central Block.

Advisor(s)

Abdel Salam, Mohamed G.

Committee Member(s)

Thurmond, Allison K.
Gao, Stephen S.
Hogan, John Patrick.
Gertsch, Leslie S.

Department(s)

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Geology and Geophysics

Sponsor(s)

Norwegian State Oil Company

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Pagination

xiv, 135 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.

Rights

© 2012 Helen Carrie Bottenber, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type

text

Language

English

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plate tectonics -- Danakil (Region)
Plate tectonics -- Great Rift Valley

Thesis Number

T 10086

Electronic OCLC #

828736770

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