Sinai hinge belt: a major crustal boundary in NE Africa
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The Sinai hinge belt is a major crustal boundary in northern Sinai separating different tectonic terranes. This boundary started as a number of ENE–WSW-oriented faults of Precambrian or Palaeozoic age and played a major role in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonic evolution of NE Africa. The Sinai hinge belt was reactivated by normal faulting during Early Mesozoic opening of Neotethys and was later reactivated by dextral transpression during Late Cretaceous–Early Tertiary closure of Neotethys and dextral transtension in the Miocene. This study highlights the structural characteristics of the hinge belt and the nature of deformation of its fault segments. It also highlights the role of this basement structure as a crustal boundary between terranes of different tectonic settings as well as its relationship to the structural development of the nearby areas in NE Africa.