Two distinct phases in the structural evolution of normal faults can be identified in the Miocene Gulf of Suez rift: (1) an initial growth fold stage when the fault is a buried structure and (2) a subsequent surface faulting stage. During the growth fold stage, strata thin and become truncated toward the fault zone and are rotated and diverge away from the buried fault into growth synclines. In contrast, once the fault breaks surface, strata form a divergent wedge, which is rotated and thickens into the fault. The two tectono-stratigraphic styles also occur contemporaneously along the length of a single fault segment. Growth folding characterizes deformation around the ends of fault segments where the fault is blind, whereas the center of fault segments are characterized by surface faulting. These observations suggest that marked along-strike variation in stratal surfaces and facies stacking patterns will occur in depositional sequences in areas of normal faulting.
- Geological Society of America