Fault zone architecture within Miocene–Pliocene syn-rift sediments, Northwestern Red Sea, Egypt
The present study focusses on field description of small normal fault zones in Upper Miocene–Pliocene sedimentary rocks on the northwestern side of the Red Sea, Egypt. The trend of these fault zones is mainly NW–SE. Paleostress analysis of 17 fault planes and slickenlines indicate that the tension direction is NE–SW. The minimum (σ3) and intermediate (σ2) paleostress axes are generally sub-horizontal and the maximum paleostress axis (σ1) is sub-vertical. The fault zones are composed of damage zones and fault core. The damage zone is characterized by subsidiary faults and fractures that are asymmetrically developed on the hanging wall and footwall of the main fault. The width of the damage zone varies for each fault depending on the lithology, amount of displacement and irregularity of the fault trace. The average ratio between the hanging wall and the footwall damage zones width is about 3:1. The fault core consists of fault gouge and breccia. It is generally concentrated in a narrow zone of ∼0.5 to ∼8 cm width. The overall pattern of the fault core indicates that the width increases with increasing displacement. The faults with displacement <1 m have fault cores ranging from 0.5 to 4.0 cm, while the faults with displacements of >2 m have fault cores ranging from 4.0 to 8.0 cm. The fault zones are associated with sliver fault blocks, clay smear, segmented faults and fault lenses’ structural features. These features are mechanically related to the growth and linkage of the fault arrays. The structural features may represent a neotectonic and indicate that the architecture of the fault zones is developed as several tectonic phases.
Volume 130, 2021
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