EGU21-10872, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Insights into the Red Sea area from magnetic and gravity analysis

Ran Issachar, Jörg Ebbing, Dilixiati Yixiati, and Nils Holzrichter
Ran Issachar et al.
  • University of Kiel, Institute of Geosciences, Satellite and aerogeophysics group, Germany (

We explore the lithosphere structure of the Red Sea using gravity and magnetic data.

We re-processed marine data form past surveys conducted during the 70’s and the 80’s, available at the NGDC database. By correcting the magnetic measurements according to the DGRF (definitive magnetic reference field), leveling and replacing the long wavelengths with satellite data (LCS1 model) we managed to generate a consistent magnetic anomaly map for the entire length of the Red Sea that is composed of 10 different surveys and contain overs 100,000 measuring points. The magnetic anomaly map highlights structural differences between the southern, central and northern parts of the Red Sea.

Using forward gravity approach, constrains from seismic, wells and petrophysical data, and by integrating insights from magnetic analysis, we define the lithospheric model of the Red Sea to address key questions regarding rifting, sea floor spreading and transition processes.  For example, the southern parts of the Red Sea are characterized by shallow and wide asthenosphere upwelling, while in the axial trough lithosphere is thin with thicknesses of less than 15 km. The lithosphere thickness increase asymmetrically towards the rift shoulders. In general, the lithosphere is thicker on the eastern sides than on the western sides. In the central parts of the Red Sea, the lithosphere structure is not significantly different from the southern parts, however, asthenosphere upwelling is slightly narrower. In northern parts of the Red Sea asthenosphere upwelling significantly narrows and focused mainly beneath the axial trough and the lithosphere is thicker. This architecture reflects the currently transition from continental rifting (in the north) to oceanic seafloor spreading (in the south) in the Red Sea.

How to cite: Issachar, R., Ebbing, J., Yixiati, D., and Holzrichter, N.: Insights into the Red Sea area from magnetic and gravity analysis, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10872,, 2021.


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