Quantifying 3D Post-Accretionary Tectonic Strain in the Arabian-Nubian Shield: Superimposition of the Oko Shear Zone on the Nakasib Suture, Red Sea Hills, Sudan


Deformed conglomeratic clasts exposed along the Neoproterozoic Nakasib Suture and the Oko Shear Zone are used to calculate three-dimensional (3D) tectonic strain associated with the latter to quantify strain associated with post-accretionary deformational belts in the Arabian-Nubian Shield. The Nakasib Suture is a NE-trending fold and thrust belt that is sinistrally offset (~10 km) by the cross-cutting NNW- to NW-trending strike-slip faults of the Oko Shear Zone. The Nakasib Suture was formed as a result of collision between the Haya terrane and the Gebeit terrane at ~750 Ma ago. The Oko Shear Zone was subsequently formed as a result of an E-W directed shortening of the Arabian-Nubian Shield due to collision between East and West Gondwana at ~670-610 Ma ago. This analysis indicates the following: (1) The Nakasib Suture is dominated by flattening strain with the flattening plane of the associated strain ellipsoid oriented at 21⁰/77⁰SE. This flattening deformation is interpreted to be associated with nappe emplacement from north to south. (2) Some regions along the Nakasib Suture are characterized by constriction strain that might be due to refolding of the early nappes about NE-trending axes. (3) The Oko Shear Zone is characterized by constriction strain, with the XY plane of the strain ellipsoid oriented at 171⁰/68⁰E. The strain ellipsoid associated with the Oko Shear Zone manifests superimposition of E-W shortening on the NE-trending fold and thrust belt associated with the Nakasib Suture. (4) The tectonic strain of the Oko Shear Zone, superimposed over the structures of the Nakasib Suture, is characterized by a strain ellipsoid whose flattening plane is oriented at 21⁰/49⁰W. The strain ellipsoid of the tectonic strain has a major axis with a quadratic elongation of 3.6 and an orientation of 357⁰/25⁰, an intermediate axis with a quadratic elongation of 1.2 and an orientation of 231⁰/30⁰, and a minor axis with a quadratic elongation of 0.25 and an orientation of 115⁰/18⁰. This suggests that the post-accretionary deformation of the Arabian-Nubian Shield was superimposed as a NW-SE directed shortening that created early N-S shortening zones and late NW-trending sinistral strike-slip faults.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

3D Tectonic Strain; Arabian-Nubian Shield; Nakasib Suture; Oko Shear Zone; Post-Accretionary Structures

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Article - Journal

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© 2010 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2010


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