Abstract This study provides interpretation and modeling of gravity survey data to map the subsurface basement relief and controlling structures of a coastal area in the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia as an aid to groundwater potential assessment. The gravity survey data were filtered and analyzed using different edge detection and depth estimation techniques and concluded by 2-D modeling conducted along representative profiles to obtain the topography and depth variations of the basement surface in the area. The basement rocks are exposed in the eastern part of the area but dip westward beneath a sedimentary cover to depths of up to 2200 m in the west, while showing repeated topographic expressions related to a tilted fault-block structure that is dominant in the Red Sea rift zone. Two fault systems were recognized in the area. The first is a normal fault system trending in the NNW–SSE direction that is related to the Red Sea rift, and the second is a cross-cutting oblique fault system trending in the NE–SW direction. The interaction between these two fault systems resulted in the formation of a set of closed basins elongated in the NNW–SSE direction and terminated by the NE–SW fault system. The geomorphology and sedimentary sequences of these basins qualify them as potential regions of groundwater accumulation. Numerical modelling, Gravity anomalies and Earth structure, Structure of the Earth © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
Geophysical Journal International – Oxford University Press
Published: Jun 4, 2018
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