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Sequence Stratigraphic Evolution Rift Tectonics: Examples from the Sinai Margin of the Suez Rift, Egypt


Rob Gawthorpe1, Chris Jackson1, Chris Leppard1, Ian Sharp1, Mike Young1

(1) University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

 The evolution and linkage of fault segments to form continuous, basin-bounding normal fault zones is a first-order control on the size and shape of sedimentary basins in extensional settings and their stratigraphic evolution. We document the tectono-sedimentary evolution of the Hammam Faraun fault block, located on the Sinai margin of the Miocene Suez Rift, Egypt to illustrate: i) the evolution of a fault population from rift initiation to the development of a major crustal-scale tilted fault block, and ii) the temporal and spatial development of syn-rift sequences in response to this structural evolution, and the influence of other controls on stratigraphy.

The initial syn-rift succession of the Hammam Faraun fault block comprises the fluvio-lacustrine Abu Zenima Formation and the tidal Nukhul Formation. These are locally developed in growth synclines and half graben adjacent to short (1-4 km long), low displacement (<1 km) segments distributed across the fault block. Onlap and facies relationships record growth folding and fault linkage during Abu Zenima and Nukhul times.

The overlying Rudeis Formation, however, is characterised by basinal, mudstone-dominated depositional environments, with local coarse-grained deltaic and turbiditic units in the immediate hanging wall of the major border faults to the Hammam Faraun fault block. The thickest development of the Rudeis Formation, and the restriction of footwall-derived coarse-grained clastics to the immediate hanging wall of the border faults, suggest that activity on many of the intra-block fault zones ceased due to the localisation of slip onto the major border faults bounding the Hammam Faraun fault block.