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Rapid late Pleistocene/Holocene uplift and coastal evolution of the southern Arabian (Persian) Gulf

Wood, Warren W., Bailey, Richard M., Hampton, Brian A., Kraemer, Thomas F., Lu, Zhong, Clark, David W., James, Rhodri H.R., Al Ramadan, Khalid
Quaternary research 2012 v.77 no.2 pp. 215-220
airports, coasts, engineering, glaciation, islands, nuclear power, power plants, sea level, subsidence, terraces, Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
The coastline along the southern Arabian Gulf between Al Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Dubai, UAE, appears to have risen at least 125m in the last 18,000years. Dating and topographic surveying of paleo-dunes (43–53ka), paleo-marine terraces (17–30ka), and paleo-marine shorelines (3.3–5.5ka) document a rapid, >1mm/a subsidence, followed by a 6mm/a uplift that is decreasing with time. The mechanism causing this movement remains elusive but may be related to the translation of the coastal area through the backbasin to forebulge hinge line movement of the Arabian plate or, alternatively, by movement of the underlying Infracambrian-age Hormuz salt in response to sea-level changes associated with continental glaciation. Independent of the mechanism, rapid and episodic uplift may impact the design of engineering projects such as nuclear power plants, airports, and artificial islands as well as the interpretation of sedimentation and archeology of the area.