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ABSTRACT

The Al Salif and Jabal al Milh salt diapirs of Miocene age cut through a 4 km thick overburden of Miocene to Recent sedimentary rocks in the southern Red Sea. The A1 Salif diapir is a north-south oriented diapiric wall which has caused updoming of the overburden and active extensional and minor reverse faulting. Carbonate reefs deposited at or below mean sea level, with 14C ages of 3,700 a have been raised up to an elevation of 17 m above present day sea level giving an average surface uplift rate of 4.6 mm a-1. There is no evidence for large-scale stoping or injection of salt into overlying faults and fractures, and the upward movement of the salt dome is probably caused by the overburden being forced aside and sliding off the dome.

Adjacent to the Jabal Al-Milh diapir recumbent folding and thrusting are the main deformation features observed in the siltstones and gypsum layers of the overburden. The overburden surrounding the Jabal al Milh salt neck has been rotated to the vertical at least 200 meters from the diapir walls. The folding and thrusting deformation is interpreted to be caused by flow of salt in an overlying and since eroded namakier.

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