Subsurface structure investigation of the United Arab Emirates using gravity data

Hakim Saibi, Diab Bakri Hag, Mohammed Saeed Mohammed Alamri, Hamdan Abdo Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The crustal structure beneath the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is still relatively unknown. Here, we use regional gravity data to constrain the subsurface density distribution and structure of the crust of the UAE by applying diverse gravity derivatives methods such as horizontal derivative (HDR), analytic signal (AS), and tilt angle (TA) to analyze the subsurface structure and perform three-dimensional (3D) gravity inversion for imaging crustal structure from the surface down to 35 km depth. The results are compared with known geological regional structures and the location of the petroleum fields. The Bouguer anomalies range from -100.8 to 113.5 mGal. The 3D gravity inversion results and the maximum Bouguer values coincide with the ophiolitic Hajar mountains in the east and the successive anticlines (uplifted basement rocks) and synclines in different parts of UAE, which could be promising sites for future mining and petroleum exploration. Also, the 3D density model results and the minimum Bouguer anomalies are located over the Aruma Basin, eastern UAE Platform, and Low Central UAE Platform, which can be the places for deep groundwater aquifers. These new results from HDR, AS, and TA successfully identify known geological structures, especially in the eastern part of UAE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-271
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Geosciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Analytic signal
  • Gravity
  • Horizontal derivative
  • Inversion
  • Structure
  • Tilt angle
  • UAE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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