An analysis of a moderate earthquake, eastern flank of the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia

Journal Article
etl., .., Saleh Qaysi, . 2020
Conference Date
Publication Abstract

The present study presents the analysis of a moderate earthquake (Mw 4.0) and its largest aftershocks located along the Red Sea coast, southwestern Saudi Arabia, with the aim to understand the enigma of peculiar seismicity in the Arabian Shield. We analyzed a high-quality waveform dataset collected from ten well-recorded earthquakes of moment magnitude ranging from 2.0 to 4.0 in order to determine the hypocenter locations and focal mechanisms. The focal mechanisms were retrieved from the regional moment-tensor inversion for the mainshock and using the P-wave polarities for the corresponding aftershocks of Mw ≥ 2.0, respectively. The focal mechanism solutions were inverted to retrieve the seismogenic stress using the stress tensor inversion. The combination of the nearby fault trends and the obtained results from hypocentral relocations, focal mechanism solutions, and stress tensor inversion emphasizes that the NE fault trend is likely to be the causative fault resulting in the 2017 Namas earthquake sequence, implying that the local tectonic setting is incompatible with the large-scale regional tectonics of the Red Sea opening. On the contrary, estimates of low-stress drops exhibit typical values compatible with those reported for the shallow plate-boundary earthquakes that occurred in the Red Sea, suggesting that the existing weak zones in the southernmost part of the Arabian Shield may be attributed to the large-scale regional tectonics of the Red Sea opening.