Abstract

The offshore Matruh and Herodotus basins of NW Egypt represent an underexplored region of the Eastern Mediterranean with only two wells drilled along the margin to date. The Matruh Canyon segment in the broader Matruh Basin appears to be unique in Egypt having a large gravity-driven linked system detached on shale. The updip extension with blocks bounded by listric normal faults (rafts) in the onshore part of the system transitions into downdip contraction with toe-thrust imbrications in the ultra-deep water part of the Herodotus Basin. The structures above a prominent Cretaceous shale detachment level within the basin fill of the Matruh Canyon developed during two major periods. The Syrian Arc regional-scale inversional episodes appear to trigger and reactivate the gravity-driven linked system during the Santonian and the mid-Cenozoic. Whereas the Messinian unconformity post-dates the formation of the rafts, an offhore segment of the linked system shows neotectonic activity.

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