The significance of volcanic segments and rifts in faults characterization within the Amagmatic graben of the Afar Depression, Ethiopia

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Demissie, Zelalem S.
Bedassa, Gemechu
Rattani, Ajita
Nigussie, Wubamlak
Kebede, Hailemichael
Muhabaw, Yoseph
Haridasan, Smitha
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Afar depression , Displacement-length scaling , Fault slip gradient , Strain distribution and localization , Volcanic segment
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The Dobi graben is a northwestern trending, continental rift situated in the East Central Block (ECB) of the Afar Depression (AD), Ethiopia. Ongoing extensional rifting in the graben is evident from the swarm of intermediate magnitude earthquakes (5.7 < Ms < 6.3) in 1989. The graben's extension occurs on steeply dipping faults, where the maximum displacement and traced fault length spans four orders of magnitude. Using a 30 m resolution Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM), we conducted a fault population analysis in the Dobi graben. We traced 953 faults and conducted a size-frequency distribution analysis has been conducted for various spatially heterogeneous structural zones. Our results show that the frequency size distribution revealed a negative exponential fitting trend, indicating strong strain distribution within the Imbrication, the Fault Termination zone, and the active axial graben floor. However, a power law size distribution dominates most first-order border faults, suggesting that the strain is localized mainly at the graben flanks. The fault displacement-length profiles demonstrate that approximately 48% of the total fault traced lengths exhibit increasing slip rates towards the southeast, while about 40% display increasing slip rates towards the northwest. These suggest that ?88% of the lateral propagation of the 953 faults in the Dobi graben is governed by the regional differential strain transfer of the Red Sea Rift (RSR) and Gulf of Aden Rift (GAR) to the central Afar. Most of the hmax/L aspect ratio of the Dobi graben's faults fits in Category II, which exhibits a constant hmax/L ratio, meaning that the hmax/L ratio increases with fault growth, presumably due to the graben's is in an active tectonic region. This implies that these faults are becoming more efficient at accommodating deformation as they grow. Additionally, the normalized average maximum displacement over maximum length (Dmax/Lmax) ratio for most faults is 0.03, which is in accord with the constant displacement length fault growth model. © 2023 Elsevier Ltd

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Zelalem S. Demissie, Gemechu Bedassa, Ajita Rattani, Wubamlak Nigussie, Hailemichael Kebede, Yoseph Muhabaw, Smitha Haridasan. (2023). The significance of volcanic segments and rifts in faults characterization within the Amagmatic graben of the Afar Depression, Ethiopia. Journal of Structural Geology, v.174, article 104914
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