Magnetic Anomaly Lineations in the Gulf of Aden

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Yui Noguchi1, Masao Nakanishi1, Kensaku Tamaki2, Hiromi Fujimoto3, Philippe Huchon4, Sylvie D Leroy4 and Peter Styles5, (1)Chiba University, Chiba, Japan, (2)University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Engineering, Bunkyo-ku, Japan, (3)National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Tsukuba, Japan, (4)University Pierre and Marie Curie Paris VI, istep, Paris, France, (5)Keele University, School of Physical and Geographical Science, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
We present the magnetic anomaly lineations in the Gulf of Aden. The Gulf of Aden has slow spreading ridges between the Arabia Plate and Somalia Plate. The Arabian plate moves away from Somalia Plate in an NE direction, at a rate of about 2 cm/yr. Previous works indicates that seafloor spreading started about 20 Ma in the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden and propagated westward. The spreading axis has a E-W trend west of 46 E and that east of 46 E has a N60 W trend.

We examined magnetic data acquired in the cruises by R/V L’Atalante in 1995, R/V Hakuho-maru from 2000 to 2001, R/V Maurice Ewing in 2001, and Shackleton in 1975 and 1979. We also used data obtained from National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA. We calculated magnetic anomalies using the latest Internation Geomagnetic Reference Field.

Elongated negative magnetic anomalies, which amplitude are more than 500 nT, observed over the spreading centers. Most of the elongated anomalies are parallel with the spreading centers. The elongated magnetic anomalies west of 46 30'E have an E-W trend around the spreading centers. Several discontinuities in the magnetic anomaly contour map illustrate the position of the fracture zones concealed by sediments.

We identified magnetic lineations from 43 E to 52 E. Most of magnetic lineations west and east of 46 30′E have N-E and N60-65 W strikes, respectively. The oldest lineations are C3r (5.48~5.74 Ma) between 43 10'E and 44 E and C5Ar (12.4~12.7 Ma) east of 44 E. Our identification of magnetic anomaly lineations indicates a symmetric seafloor spreading with a spreading rate of about 1.0 cm/yr, although Leroy et al. (2004) showed an asymmetric seafloor spreading of the Sheba Ridge, east of our study area. The kinematics of the Arabia plate changed about 5 Ma, but our results did not show any coeval change in spreading rates of the spreading system in the Gulf of Aden.