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The Gulf of Suez: A Brief Review of Stratigraphy and Structure [and Discussion]

M. Abdel-Gawad and D. A. Robson
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Vol. 267, No. 1181, A Discussion on the Structure and Evolution of the Red Sea and the Nature of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Ethiopia Rift Junction (Oct. 29, 1970), pp. 41-48
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/73607
Page Count: 9
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The Gulf of Suez: A Brief Review of Stratigraphy and Structure [and Discussion]
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Abstract

This paper gives a brief review of the main elements of the complex stratigraphy and structure of the Gulf of Suez, with an attempt to interpret or rather speculate on the role of lateral movements in its development. The stratigraphic record shows that the Gulf existed as a shallow embayment of the Tethys since at least the Carboniferous, and that a landmass lay at its southern end until upper Cretaceous. Predominantly clastic sediments characterizing its early history changed to calcareous marine since the Cenomanian. Intensive faulting and subsidence, associated with volcanic and intrusive activity was evident since Upper Cretaceous, reached a maximum towards the end of Oligocene, continued through the Miocene and into the Pleistocene; hot springs are still active at present. Structurally the Gulf was divided by van der Ploeg into four provinces delineated by NNE-SSW trending 'cross disturbances'. The four provinces appear to have formed two deep basins separated by two structural highs. It is speculated that the cross disturbances may represent transform faults between en echelon tension fissures (basins), produced as a result of a limited movement of Sinai towards the NNE relative to Africa, perhaps at a slower rate than the movement of Arabia.

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