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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-147
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-147
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 18 Nov 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Structure and kinematics of an extensional growth fold, Hadahid Fault System, Suez Rift, Egypt

Christopher A.-L. Jackson1, Paul S. Whipp1,a, Robert L. Gawthorpe2, and Matthew M. Lewis1 Christopher A.-L. Jackson et al.
  • 1Basins Research Group (BRG), Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BP, UK
  • 2Department of Earth Science, Realfagbygget, University of Bergen, Allegate 41, Bergen N5020, Norway
  • acurrent address: Statoil ASA, Bergen, Norway

Abstract. Normal faulting drives extensional growth folding of the Earth's upper crust during continental extension, yet we know little of how fold geometry relates to the structural segmentation of the underlying fault. We use field data from the Hadahid Fault System, Suez Rift, Egypt to investigate the geometry and kinematics of a large (30 km long, up to 2.5 km displacement), exceptionally well-exposed normal fault system to test and develop models for extensional growth folding. The Hadahid Fault System comprises eight, up to 5 km long segments that are defined by unbreached, breached, or partly breached monoclines. These segments are soft- or hard-link, or defined by a more subtle transition in overall structural style. High overlap : separation (O : S) ratios between its segments suggest the Hadahid Fault System comprises a single, now hard-linked structure at-depth. We demonstrate that a progressive loss of displacement along strike of the Hadahid Fault System results in surface-breaking faults and breached monoclines being replaced by unbreached monoclines developed above blind faults. However, shorter along-strike length-scale variations in structural style also occur, with unbreached monoclines developed between breached monoclines. The origin of this variability is unclear, but might reflect local variations in host rock material properties that drive short length-scale variations in fault propagation-to-slip ratio, and thus the timing and location of fold breaching. We show that folding is a key expression of the strain that accumulates in areas of continental extension, and argue that tectono-sedimentary models for rift development should capture the related structural complexity.

Christopher A.-L. Jackson et al.
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