KFUPM-KAUST Red Sea model

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The KFUPM-KAUST Red Sea model was created by Abdullatif A. Al-Shuhail, Wail A. Mousa, and Tariq Alkhalifah, through the support of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) and King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), and provides interested researchers with seismic imaging of the Red Sea with a high-resolution 2D viscoelastic model and synthetic seismic data set. More details about the model and the data can be obtained from an article published in the June 2017 issue of the The Leading Edge.[1]


Figure 1  Satellite image showing the Red Sea, the Arabian Peninsula and the Arabian Gulf (image courtesy of Google Earth).

The Red Sea is located west of the Arabian Peninsula and extends for about 2000 km from the Gulf of Aqaba in the north to the Bab al-Mandeb Strait in the south (Figure 1). Its width varies, reaching a maximum of 370 km in its middle and a minimum of 30 km in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. It is a rift system that started 30 Ma ago and continues fragmenting the Arabian-Nubian Shield.[2] It occupies a long northwest-trending basin between the African and Arabian shields and is characterized by steep walls in the axial trough and irregular seafloor topography.[3] The axial trough shows changes in offsets, high-temperature brines, and hydrothermal sediments.

The Red Sea geology is important to study because it is considered an evolving young ocean, and studying it gives insight into the early stages of mature oceans.[2] Furthermore, it contains considerable mineral resources on its floor such as zinc, copper, silver, and gold.[4] Additionally, fair amounts of petroleum resources have been discovered offshore and onshore the Red Sea, and more exploration is currently taking place in it.[5] A major exploration target in the Red Sea is a thick prerift carbonate layer that is usually overlain by a thick salt layer. A major challenge for the seismic imaging of this target is the distortion of seismic waves by the salt layer.

How to obtain a copy of the data

To download click here.

Terms of use

Do not separate this Data License Agreement from this Data. Make sure you read and understand this document fully.

1. SEG. The SEG is helping to distribute this data, but is not legally liable in any way because of that assistance.

2. NO WARRANTIES. The data is provided "as is," with no warranty of any kind. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) make no representations or warranties to the user(s), express, implied or statutory, including any implied warranties of fitness or for a particular purpose.

3. DAMAGE WAIVER. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) shall not be liable for any damages of any kind, including personal injury, property damage and consequential damages, which may arise in connection with this license or use of the data or results.

4. MODIFICATIONS. If the user(s) modifies this data in any way, the user(s) must document that the data has been modified from its original form and explain how it differs from the original data.

5. REDISTRIBUTION. If the user(s) agrees to disclose any or all of this data with any other person or organization, the user(s) will also provide all of the associated documentation originally included with the data and provided to the user(s), including this data license agreement. If the user(s) discloses any modified version of data, the modification must be documented and included along with the data.

6. PUBLICATIONS. The user(s) agrees to acknowledge King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) for use of the data in any proposed publications, presentations or other materials that include the data.

7. VOLUNTARY USE. Use of the data is voluntary. Neither SEG nor King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) will compensate the user(s) in any way for processing, analyzing, modifying, distributing or otherwise using the data.

By using the data, the user(s) hereby accepts the above terms and conditions of this license. If the user(s) cannot agree with the above terms and conditions, the user(s) cannot use this data.


The authors wish to thank King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for supporting this research under grant number EE002356. A.A. and W.M. thank King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) for its continuous support.


  1. Abdullatif A. Al-Shuhail, Wail A. Mousa, and Tariq Alkhalifah, (2017), KFUPM-KAUST Red Sea model: Digital viscoelastic depth model and synthetic seismic data set: The Leading Edge, 36 (6), June 2017, p306-310. http://dx.doi.org/10.1190/tle36050306.1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ligi, M., E. Bonatti, F. Tontini, A. Cipriani, L. Cocchi, A. Schettino, G. Bortoluzzi, V. Ferrante, S. Khalil, N. Mitchell, and N. Rasul, 2011, Initial burst of oceanic crust accretion in the Red Sea due to edge-driven mantle convection: Geology, 39, no. 11, 1019–1022, http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G32243.1.
  3. Coleman, R. G., 1974, Geologic background of the Red Sea, in R. B. Whitmarsh, O. E. Weser, and D. A. Ross, eds., Initial Reports of the Deep See Drilling Project: IODP, 813–820
  4. World Ocean Review, http://worldoceanreview.com/en/wor-3-overview/mineral-resources/massive-sulphides/metal-rich-brines-inthe-red-sea/, accessed 14 August 2016
  5. Hughes, G. W. G., and R. S. Johnson, 2005, Lithostratigraphy of the Red Sea region: GeoArabia, 10, no. 3, 49–126

External links

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KFUPM-KAUST Red Sea model
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