Abstract

The Araba–Abu Durba area on the eastern margin of the Gulf of Suez exhibits two superb outcrop examples of extensional hard linkages in a rift basin. Here, three large, domino-style, basement-cored, northeast-dipping fault blocks are formed by a series of major northwest-trending normal faults. These are offset by two north-northeast–trending sinistral oblique-slip transfer faults that terminate in horsetail normal fault splays. The transfer faults do not extend across the entire rift basin. Detailed mapping and structural analysis show that they developed by breakage of initial low-strain relay ramps along reactivated north-northeast–trending basement fabrics between overlapping northwest-trending normal fault segments. Paleostrain analysis of fault-slip indicators shows that both the normal and the sinistral oblique-slip transfer faults were formed synchronously in response to northeast-southwest extension, perpendicular to the main northwest rift trend.

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