Large-scale, northeast-trending asymmetric folds and associated contractional faults, seismically induced slump structures, and strike-slip and extensional faults of Santonian age occur within the Eastern Desert of Egypt, 150 km south of the Syrian arc mobile belt. The region also displays a locally developed angular unconformity at the base of the flat-lying Campanian limestone. These features demonstrate that the deformation event responsible for the Syrian arc also led to northwest-southeast shortening in central Egypt ca. 84 Ma. The late Santonian shortening corresponds precisely with a brief period of compression that swept across the entire African plate, coeval with a significant change in the poles of opening of the North Atlantic. This “Santonian event” is a prominent example of the role that far-field compressional stresses can play in stable, intraplate settings.
- Geological Society of America