The age and extent of the Red Sea oceanic crust

Abstract

THE evolution of the Red Sea depression and the extent within it of oceanic crust have been widely discussed1–5. It is generally accepted that the axial trough is floored by oceanic lithosphere formed at a constructive margin over the last 3–4 Myr by spreading at a rate of about 1.0 cm yr−1 per flank2,6. It is also clear from stratigraphic continuity and the trend of isofacial lines that the opening of the Red Sea started less than 45 Myr ago after a long period of tectonic and magmatic quiesence7,8. Two areas of contention exist. First, how much of the Red Sea on either side of the axial trough is underlain by oceanic crust, and second, when was this oceanic crust formed?

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GASS, I. The age and extent of the Red Sea oceanic crust. Nature 265, 722–724 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/265722a0

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