Fracture-zone tectonics at Zabargad Island, Red Sea (Egypt)

Stephen Marshak*, Enrico Bonatti, Hannes Brueckner, Timothy Paulsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Zabargad Island, which lies along the western margin of the Red Sea rift, is a remarkable place because it provides fresh exposures of undepleted mantle peridotite. How this peridotite came to be exposed on Zabargad remains unclear. Our field mapping indicates that most of the contacts between peridotite and the adjacent bodies of Pan-African gneiss and Cretaceous(?) Zabargad Formation on the island are now high-angle brittle faults. Zabargad Formation strata have been complexly folded, partly in response to this faulting. Overall, the array of high-angle faults and associated folds on the island resembles those found in cross-rift transfer zones. We suggest, therefore, that the Zabargad fracture zone, a band of submarine escarpments on the floor of the Red Sea north of the island, crosses Zabargad Island and has actively resolved differential movement between the central Red Sea rift and the northern Red Sea rift. The final stage of uplift that brought the unusual peridotite to the earth's surface is related to shallow crustal transpression, which may have inverted an earlier transtensional regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

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    Marshak, S., Bonatti, E., Brueckner, H., & Paulsen, T. (1992). Fracture-zone tectonics at Zabargad Island, Red Sea (Egypt). Tectonophysics, 216(3-4), 379-385.