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Abstract

The offshore area of North Sinai represents the northern extension of the Syrian Arc inversion structures into the southeastern Mediterranean region. Integration of detailed seismic interpretation of key tectonic events in offshore North Sinai and recently acquired gravity and magnetic data reveal structural deformation represented by large buried inversion anticlines that have played an important role in the geological history and hydrocarbon potential of the area. This tectonic inversion took place in the Late Mesozoic and continued slightly during the Cenozoic, and formed NE-trending asymmetrical folds. Three different phases of deformation have been detected in offshore North Sinai: (1) A Jurassic–Early Cretaceous extensional phase, which formed NE trending normal faults bounding asymmetrical half-grabens, (2) Post-Santonian–Middle Miocene positive inversion of these faults and half-grabens and (3) Post–Middle Miocene subsidence. A set of tectonosequences related to the opening and the subsequent convergence of the Tethys was mapped. Each identified tectonosequence has its own unique drive mechanism, geometry, and location with respect to the plate boundary. Recognition of these elements allows illustration of the Tethyan basin evolution of offshore North Sinai through time as well as understanding the tectonic and stratigraphic framework and effective prediction of the petroleum system.

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