Title

Constraints From Mesozoic Siliciclastic Cover Rocks and Satellite Image Analysis on the Slip History of Regional E-W Faults in the Southeast Western Desert, Egypt

Abstract

In the southeast Western Desert of Egypt, a prominent set of E-W faults and co-located domes and basins involve sedimentary cover rock as young as the early Eocene. Although earlier Mesozoic slip on faults in southern Egypt has been widely mentioned in the literature and attributed to repeated reactivation of basement faults, evidence is indirect and based on the idea that regional stresses associated with tectonic events in the Syrian Arc would likely have reactivated basement faults in south Egypt in dextral strike slip during the Mesozoic as well as the Cenozoic. Here, we present direct evidence from the rock record for the sequence of development of features along these faults. Southwest of Aswan, a small structural dome in Mesozoic Nubia facies rocks occurs where the Seiyal Fault bends northward from west to east. The dome is cut by strands of the Seiyal Fault and a related set of cataclastic deformation bands showing dominantly right lateral strike slip, as well as by younger calcite veins with related patchy poikilotopic cement. High resolution satellite image analysis of the remote southwest Kharga Valley shows a similar sequence of events: older structural domes and basins located where E-W faults bend northward from west to east, right lateral offset of domes and basins along the E-W faults, and two sets of deformation band faults that lack co-located domes and basins. We suggest that field data, image analysis, and burial depth estimates are best explained by diachronous development of features along the E-W fault system. We propose that Late Mesozoic right lateral strike slip produced domes and basins in Nubia facies rocks in stepover regions above reactivated basement faults. We further suggest that the extensively linked segments of the E-W fault system in Nubia facies rocks, plus the deformation band systems, formed during the late Eocene when basement faults were again reactivated in dominantly right lateral strike slip.

Department(s)

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Deformation Bands; Egypt Tectonics; Fault-Related Folding; Faults; Satellite Image Analysis; Western Desert

Geographic Coverage

Egypt

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1464343X

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd, All rights reserved.

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