Natural Resources Authority NRA

Amman, Jordan

Natural Resources Authority NRA

Amman, Jordan

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Braeuer B.,German Research Center for Geosciences | Asch G.,German Research Center for Geosciences | Hofstetter R.,Geophysical Institute of Israel GII | Haberland C.,German Research Center for Geosciences | And 4 more authors.
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2012

Local earthquake data from a dense temporary seismological network in the southern Dead Sea area have been analysed within the project DESIRE (Dead Sea Integrated Research Project). Local earthquakes are used for the first precise image of the distribution of the P-wave velocity and the v P/v S ratios. 65 stations registered 655 local events within 18 months of observation time. A subset of 530 well-locatable events with 26730 P- and S-arrival times was used to calculate a tomographic model for the v P and v P/v S distribution. Since the study area is at first-order 2-D, a gradual approach was chosen, which compromised a 2-D inversion followed by a 3-D inversion. The sedimentary basin fill is clearly imaged through high v P/v S ratios and low v P. The basin fill shows an asymmetric structure with average depth of 7 km at the western boundary and depth between 10 and 14 km at the eastern boundary. This asymmetry is reflected by the vertical strike-slip eastern border fault, and the normal faulting at the western boundary, caused by the transtensional deformation within the last 5 Myr. Within the basin fill the Lisan salt diapir is imaged through low v P/v S ratios, reflecting its low fluid content. The extensions were determined to 12 km in E-W and 17 km in N-S direction while its depth is 5-6 km. The thickness of the pre-basin sediments below the basin fill cannot be derived from the tomography data-it is estimated to less than 3 km from former investigations. Below the basin, down to 18 km depth very low P-wave velocities and low v P/v S ratios are observed-most likely caused by fluids from the surrounding crust or the upper mantle. © 2012 The Authors Geophysical Journal International © 2012 RAS.


Braeuer B.,German Research Center for Geosciences | Asch G.,German Research Center for Geosciences | Hofstetter R.,Geophysical Institute of Israel GII | Haberland C.,German Research Center for Geosciences | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Seismology | Year: 2014

Within the framework of the international DESIRE (DEad Sea Integrated REsearch) project, a dense temporary local seismological network was operated in the southern Dead Sea area. During 18 recording months, 648 events were detected. Based on an already published tomography study clustering, focal mechanisms, statistics and the distribution of the microseismicity in relation to the velocity models from the tomography are analysed. The determined b value of 0.74 leads to a relatively high risk of large earthquakes compared to the moderate microseismic activity. The distribution of the seismicity indicates an asymmetric basin with a vertical strike-slip fault forming the eastern boundary of the basin, and an inclined western boundary, made up of strike-slip and normal faults. Furthermore, significant differences between the area north and south of the Bokek fault were observed. South of the Bokek fault, the western boundary is inactive while the entire seismicity occurs on the eastern boundary and below the basin-fill sediments. The largest events occurred here, and their focal mechanisms represent the northwards transform motion of the Arabian plate along the Dead Sea Transform. The vertical extension of the spatial and temporal cluster from February 2007 is interpreted as being related to the locking of the region around the Bokek fault. North of the Bokek fault similar seismic activity occurs on both boundaries most notably within the basin-fill sediments, displaying mainly small events with strike-slip mechanism and normal faulting in EW direction. Therefore, we suggest that the Bokek fault forms the border between the single transform fault and the pull-apart basin with two active border faults. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Braeuer B.,German Research Center for Geosciences | Asch G.,German Research Center for Geosciences | Hofstetter R.,Geophysical Institute of Israel GII | Haberland C.,German Research Center for Geosciences | And 4 more authors.
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2012

While the Dead Sea basin has been studied for a long time, the available knowledge about the detailed seismicity distribution in the area, as well as the deeper structure of the basin, is limited. Therefore, within the framework of the international project DESIRE (DEad Sea Integrated REsearch project), a dense temporary local seismological network was operated in the southern Dead Sea area. We use 530 local earthquakes, having all together 26730 P- and S-arrival times for a simultaneous inversion of 1-D velocity models, station corrections and precise earthquake locations. Jackknife tests suggest an accuracy of the derived hypocentre locations of about 1 km. Thus, the result is the first clear image of the absolute distribution of the microseismicity of the area, especially in depth. The seismicity is concentrated in the upper crust down to 20 km depth while the lower limit of the seismicity is reached at 31 km depth. The seismic events at the eastern boundary fault (EBF) in the southern part of the study area represent the northward transform motion of the Arabian Plate along the Dead Sea Transform. North of the Boqeq fault the seismic activity represents the transfer of the motion in the pull-apart basin from the eastern to the western boundary. We find that from the surface downward the seismic events are tracing the boundary faults of the basin. The western boundary is mapped down to 12 km depth while the EBF reaches about 17 km depth, forming an asymmetric basin. One fifth of the data set is related to a specific cluster in time and space, which occurred in 2007 February at the western border fault. This cluster is aligned vertically, that is, it is perpendicular to the direction of the dominating left-lateral strike-slip movement at the main transform fault. © 2012 The Authors Geophysical Journal International © 2012 RAS.


Faris M.,Tanta University | Ahmad F.,University of Jordan | Powell J.H.,Natural Resources Authority NRA
GeoArabia | Year: 2015

The first detailed calcareous nannofossil and planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphic and integrated lithofacies analyses of the Eocene-Oligocene transition at the Qa' Faydat ad Dahikiya area in the Eastern Desert of Jordan, on the border with Saudi Arabia, is presented. Three calcareous nannofossil zones namely: Discoaster saipanensis (NP17), Chiasmolithus oamaruensis (NP18) and Ericsonia subdisticha (NP21), and three planktonic foraminiferal zones: upper part of Truncorotaloides rohri (E13), Globigerinatheka semiinvoluta (E14) and Cassigerinella chipolensis/ Pseudohastigerina micra (O1) are identified. Calcareous nannofossil bioevents recorded in the present study show numerous discrepancies with the Standard biostratigraphic zonal schemes to detect the Middle/Upper Eocene boundary (e.g. the highest occurrences (HOs) of Chiasmolithus solitus, C. grandis, and lowest occurrences (LOs) of C. oamaruensis, Isthmolithus recurvus are not considered reliable markers for global correlation). The Middle/Upper Eocene boundary occurs in the current study above the extinctions of large muricate planktonic foraminifera (large Acarinina and Truncorotaloides spp.) which coincide within the equivalent calcareous nannofossil NP18 Zone. These microplanktonic bioevents seem to constitute more reliable markers for the base of the Upper Eocene in different provinces. The uppermost portion of the Middle Eocene is characterized by an observed drop in faunal content and, most likely, primarily denotes the effect of the major fall in eustatic sea level. A major unconformity (disconformity) marked by a mineralized hardground representing a lowstand is recorded in the present study at the Eocene-Oligocene transition that reveals an unexpected ca. 2.1 Myr duration, separating Eocene (NP18/E14 zones) from Oligocene (NP21/O1 zones). Furthermore, the microfossil turnover associated with a rapid decline of the microfossil assemblages shows a distinct drop in diversity and abundance towards the Eocene/Oligocene unconformity and is associated with a sharp lithological break marked, at the base, by a mineralized hardground representing a major sequence boundary. These bioevents, depositional sequences and the depositional hiatus correlate well with different parts of the Arabian and African plates, but the magnitude of the faunal break differs from place to place as a result of intraplate deformation during the regional Oligocene regression of Neo-Tethys on the northern Arabian Plate. The presence of the Lower Oligocene shallow-marine calcareous planktonic assemblages in the study area indicate that communication between the eastern and western provinces of the western Neo-Tethys region still existed at this time.

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