Structural Evolution of the India-Arabia Plate Boundary from Miocene to Present-Day (NW Indian Ocean) and Comparison with the Dead Sea Fault (Eastern Mediterranean Sea).

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Mathieu Rodriguez1, Philippe Huchon2, Nicolas Chamot Rooke1, Marc Fournier3, Matthias Delescluse1, Zvi Ben Avraham4 and Uri S Ten Brink5, (1)Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris, Paris, France, (2)University Pierre and Marie Curie Paris VI, istep, Paris, France, (3)University Pierre and Marie Curie Paris VI, Paris, France, (4)University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel, (5)US Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA, United States
Arabia is bounded by the Dead Sea Transform (DST) to the west and by the Owen Fracture Zone (OFZ) to the east. These present-day major strike-slip fault systems activated during the Plio-Pleistocene, which contrasts with the age of inception of strike-slip motion, assumed to begin around 13-18 Ma for the DST and around 20 Ma at the edge of the Owen-Murray Ridge (OMR) for the India-Arabia plate boundary. This discrepancy between the age of the active strike-slip systems and the age of inception of strike-slip motion raises the question of the kinematic driver for the transition between successive generations of strike-slip faults. Using a recent mutibeam and seismic dataset crossing the OFZ and the OMR, we provide a new geodynamic framework for the Miocene to present-day structural evolution of the India-Arabia plate boundary, and highlight some similarities with the structural evolution of the DST. We first document a Late Miocene episode of uplift of the OMR uplift along the Miocene India-Arabia plate boundary. The onset of this uplift is coeval with a plate reorganization event marked by the onset of intra-plate deformation in the Central Indian Ocean. The OFZ emplaced around 3 Ma, with major pull-apart basins opening (20°N Basin, Dalrymple Trough) dated at 2.4 Ma by far-field correlation with ODP Sites. The opening of pull-apart basins is coeval with the last structural reorganization of the Makran accretionnary wedge, marked by the regional M-unconformity, and with a major intensification of the Indian monsoon. A Late Miocene episode of folding is also recognized at the Lebanon ranges prior to the onset of the present-day DST, which occurred in the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene. The similarities between the geological history of the India-Arabia plate boundary and the DST in the Late Miocene and the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene suggest that both plate boundaries recorded the same kinematic changes. Late Miocene (i.e. Tortonian) deformation is widely recognized around the Mediterranean Sea. However, the origin of the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene kinematic change recorded by both plate boundaries remains enigmatic. This kinematic change may be related to geological events at the Zagros mountain belt, subduction of seafloor asperities, or to major climate changes occurring at the beginning of the Pleistocene.