Geophysical Imaging of Fault Structures Over the Qadimah Fault, Saudi Arabia

  • Feras AlTawash

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to use geophysical imaging methods to identify the conjectured location of the ‘Qadimah fault’ near the ‘King Abdullah Economic City’, Saudi Arabia. Towards this goal, 2-D resistivity and seismic surveys were conducted at two different locations, site 1 and site 2, along the proposed trace of the ‘Qadimah fault’. Three processing techniques were used to validate the fault (i) 2-D travel time tomography, (ii) resistivity imaging, and (iii) reflection trim stacking. The refraction traveltime tomograms at site 1 and site 2 both show low-velocity zones (LVZ’s) next to the conjectured fault trace. These LVZ’s are interpreted as colluvial wedges that are often observed on the downthrown side of normal faults. The resistivity tomograms are consistent with this interpretation in that there is a significant change in resistivity values along the conjectured fault trace. Processing the reflection data did not clearly reveal the existence of a fault, and is partly due to the sub-optimal design of the reflection experiment. Overall, the results of this study strongly, but not definitively, suggest the existence of the Qadimah fault in the ‘King Abdullah Economic City’ region of Saudi Arabia.
Date of AwardJun 2011
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Science and Engineering
SupervisorGerard Schuster (Supervisor)

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