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Structural Evolution and Timing of Extensional Faulting in the Central Gulf of Suez, Egypt

Edgardo Pujols
University of Kansas, Geology Lawrence, KS
[email protected]

Many aspects of our understanding of rifting have been influenced by concepts developed in the Gulf of Suez as a result of detailed structural and sedimentological studies and decades of intense hydrocarbon exploration. Although the three-dimensional structural geometry of the rift and the syn-rift stratigraphic architecture are well understood, the timing of faulting and fault linkage during rift evolution and the influence on early syn-rift sedimentation is largely unconstrained. This study will undertake an unprecedented 3-dimensional thermochronometric effort employing apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He dating on surface and subsurface samples to better understand the (1) temporal, spatial, and thermal evolution of the central eastern Gulf of Suez rift, (2) the interaction and linkage of normal faults, (3) the impact of fault linkage on early syn-rift sedimentation and provenance, (4) and hydrocarbon maturation and migration. These data will yield novel insights into the structural initiation, development, and evolution and the thermal evolution of the Gulf of Suez rift system. An important hypothesis that will be tested relates whether hard-linkage of normal faults develops progressively during rift maturation and localization or whether hard-linkage controls early rift architecture and therefore early syn-rift sedimentation. This fundamental question regarding the style of extension and the temporal and spatial distribution of rifting has significant implications for rift architecture, syn-rift stratigraphy, and hydrocarbon exploration in the Gulf of Suez and similar rift systems.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90094 © 2009 AAPG Foundation Grants in Aid