Middle East Rift Zones

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Abstract

EARLIER this year we proposed a model for the evolution of the Middle East rift zones1. In this it was shown that the motion, of the three major crustal plates, Nubia, Somalia and Arabia, was such that it could be described as rotational about a single pole, the differing rates of rotation producing the intervening rift zones. In a criticism of this account, Roberts2 has proposed a modified model involving a three-plate, three-pole solution. This more general method should theoretically describe the motions of the plates more precisely than the one-pole, three-plate approximation which we adopted. The procedures and assumptions used by Roberts to determine the pole positions are, however, open to question, and hence his conclusions are of doubtful validity.

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References

  1. 1

    Gass, I. G., and Gibson, I. L., Nature, 221, 926 (1969).

  2. 2

    Roberts, D. G., Nature, 223, 55 (1969).

  3. 3

    Le Pichon, X., and Hertzler, J. R., J. Geophys. Res., 73, 6, 2101 (1968).

  4. 4

    Morgan, W. J., J. Geophys. Res., 73, 1959 (1968).

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GIBSON, I., GASS, I. Middle East Rift Zones. Nature 224, 791 (1969) doi:10.1038/224791a0

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