International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 106, Issue 7, pp 2527–2547 | Cite as

Extension-related buttress-like folds, the western side of the Gulf of Suez rift, Egypt

  • A. S. A. A. Abu Sharib
  • M. M. Abdel-Fattah
  • Y. F. Salama
  • G. I. Abdel-Gawad
Original Paper


The wedge-shaped St. Paul block, western side of the Gulf of Suez rift, exposes Late Cretaceous beds that are folded into transverse folds. The block is bounded from the east and west by east- and southeast-dipping rift-related normal faults, respectively. This study reveals that the transverse folds are extension-related, and formed due to the buttress-like effect that was created during the movement along the rift-related normal faults. The more competent Eocene hanging-wall block of the N–S-striking fault buttressed against the moving less competent Cretaceous hanging-wall block of the NE–SW-striking fault. A localized zone of shortening developed between the two fault trends causing the intervening wedge-shaped block to be crumpled and folded into a series of kilometer-scale, gentle SSE-plunging folds. The buttressing, within block internal localized strain caused by the zigzag geometry of the NE–SW-striking fault, and the effect of the minor cross fault explain the SSE-to-ESE plunges of the mesoscopic folds. This study turns the attention to the buttress-like effect as one of the mechanisms of extension-related folds during rifting.


St. Paul block Extension Normal fault Localized shortening Buttress folds Gulf of Suez rift 



The authors would like to thank Beni-Suef University for the facilities provided. The Open Learning Center, Beni-Suef University, is greatly acknowledged for providing the vehicle. Special thanks go to the Suez Oil Company (SUCO), Egypt, for providing a full-board accommodation during the field trip. Prof. Tom Blenkinsop, Cardiff University, UK, is greatly acknowledged for the fruitful discussion and critical comments of the manuscript. Christian Dullo and Monika Dullo are greatly acknowledged for their editorial handling, suggestions, and valuable comments. The driver, Mr. Mahmoud, is acknowledged for the patient and excellent driving.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. S. A. A. Abu Sharib
    • 1
  • M. M. Abdel-Fattah
    • 1
  • Y. F. Salama
    • 1
  • G. I. Abdel-Gawad
    • 1
  1. 1.Geology DepartmentBeni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt

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