The Egyptian Nubian Shield (ENS) represents the northwestern part of the Arabian‐Nubian Shield and the northern extension of the East African Orogen. The ENS is regarded as being formed due to northward‐directed escape tectonics. It is characterized by mild accretion and suture zones dominated by major strike‐slip zones with a commonly sinistral sense of movement; some shear zones display a dextral sense of shear. It is dominated by gneisses and migmatites in the south, arc volcaniclastic metasediments and highly dismembered ophiolites in the central parts, whereas its northern part is dominated by late‐ to post‐tectonic granitoids. In southern Sinai, the Neoproterozoic rocks are grouped into four complexes, namely Feiran–Solaf, Sa'al–Zaghra, Kid and Taba. The ENS ophiolites were formed between 730–750 Ma, mainly in a supra‐subduction zone setting. The ENS has undergone a Neoproterozoic deformation history involving three successive phases: (1) Early N–S shortening phase (D1), (2) Syn‐accretionary phase (D2) and (3) Post‐accretionary phase (D3). The initial island‐arc stage (780–730 Ma) is a N–S shortening phase initiated by collision between the Eastern Desert tectonic terrane to the north with both the Gebeit and Gabgaba terranes to the south (830–720 Ma). During the arc‐splitting and back‐arc spreading stage (730–620), voluminous syn‐tectonic granitoids intruded into the ENS (750–610 Ma). The E–W‐directed compressional/transpressional phase (620–450 Ma) led to the overall uplift of the central part of the ENS and consequently the development and exhumation of the core complexes in oblique convergent zones. The E–W intense shortening deformation resulted also in the formation of NW‐ and NE‐striking sinistral and dextral strike‐slip shear zones, respectively. The latest periods of the E–W‐directed compressional/transpressional regime were characterized by deposition of the molasse‐type Hammamat Sediments unconformably over the Dokhan Volcanics, or interbedded with them. The combined thrusting, folding and sinistral‐reverse shearing structures have been interpreted to resulted from the E–W‐directed compressional/transpressional phase in response to the oblique shortening of the Arabian‐Nubian Shield between East and West Gondwana.
Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition) – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2021
Keywords: Neoproterozoic deformation
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