Magnetic Gradiometer and Vector Magnetometer Survey of the Eastern Mediterranean

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Roi Granot, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Some of the fundamental tectonic problems of the Eastern Mediterranean remain unresolved due to the extremely thick sedimentary cover (~15 km) and the lack of accurate magnetic anomaly data. We conducted a magnetic survey of the Herodotus and Levant Basins (Eastern Mediterranean) to study the nature and age of the underlying igneous crust. The towed magnetometer array consisted of two Overhauser sensors recording the total magnetic field in a longitudinal gradiometer mode, and a marine vector magnetometer. Accurate navigation together with the gradiometer data allows the separation of the magnetic signature of the lithosphere from the contributions of the external magnetic field and the geomagnetic field. Total field data in the Herodotus Basin reveal a sequence of long-wavelength NE-SW lineated anomalies (~80 nT) suggesting a deep (~20 km) 2D magnetic source layer. Analysis of the vector data shows a steady azimuth of lineations that is generally consistent with the total field anomalies. The sequence of anomalies is rather short and does not allow a unique identification. However, the continuous northward motion of the African Plate during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic result in predictable anomaly skewness patterns for the different time periods. Forward magnetic modeling best fit the observed anomalies when using Early Permian remanence directions. Altogether, these observations and analysis suggest that a Neo-Tethyan Permian oceanic crust underlies the Herodotus Basin. Two short-wavelengths and strong (~400 nT) anomalies are found in the Levant Basin, proposing rather shallow (~7 km) magnetic sources there. These anomalies spatially coincide with Mesozoic uplifted continental structures (Eratosthenes and Jonah Highs).