Conrad Deep: a new northern Red Sea deep. Origin and implications for continental rifting

Cochran, James R.; Martinez, Fernando; Steckler, Michael S.; Hobart, Michael A.

A previously unknown deep, here called Conrad Deep, was discovered during an extensive geophysical survey of the northern Red Sea in June, 1984. Conrad Deep is located at 27°03’N, 34°43’E, only 90 km south of the Gulf of Suez and is the most northern deep yet discovered in the Red Sea. It is located within a well developed axial depression which also contains Charcot Deep, 100 km to the south. The axial depression is associated with abundant recent deformation and is situated at the peak of a regional heat flow high extending across the rift. Conrad Deep is typical of the small northern type Red Sea Deep. It is 10 km long, 2 km wide and has a maximum depth of 1460 m. It is associated with high and variable heat flow values and large magnetic anomalies. There is no evidence of a dense brine layer. Detailed analysis of the geophysical data implies that the deep probably results from a very recent (< 40,000 years) intrusion into continental type basement. The formation of a well defined axial depression associated with very high heat flow and small deeps resulting from isolated intrusions may be the first step in the transition from continental extension to seafloor spreading.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Cochran-Conrad Deep-86.pdf Cochran-Conrad Deep-86.pdf application/pdf 1.13 MB Download File

Also Published In

Earth and Planetary Science Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics
Published Here
June 11, 2019