Recently released high resolution satellite imagery in Google Earth reveals extraordinary and largely unstudied fold and fault structures in the Western Desert of Egypt over a distance of nearly 600 km. Our reconnaissance work shows that these spectacular structures range in character from fields of small domes separated by networks of narrow synclines (right, above) to elongate domes and basins along discreet fault zones (banner photo above and image at right in the middle). Between the region in the north, which is dominated by dome fields, and the region in the south, which is dominated by fault-related domes and basins, structures occur that have characteristics that are a hybrid of both types, displaying both eyes along faults and fields of domes and basins in the country rock (right, below).
The Desert Eyes Project is aimed at understanding the geometries, kinematics, and origin of these extraordinary structures. The Project is a collaboration among Hamilton College, Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University of Vermont, the University of Idaho, and five Egyptian universities (Damanhour, Alexandria, Assiut, Sohag, and South Valley, Aswan).