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Preliminary Report

Geologic Description of the Real Mount Sinai


      There is evidence that the Sinai Peninsula is a separate geologic micro plate locked between the much larger African, Arabian, and Anatolian-Aegean plates.  The shearing action of these greater plates has cause significant earthquake activity along its eastern boundary, the Dead Sea Shear. The resulting movement of the plate results in many of the mountain ranges having a NE-SW orientation of over 20 degrees.

      The 25 square kilometers study area is mostly located north of Wadi El Bruck. It includes a small hill we believe to be Mount Sinai which is surrounded by three valleys. The hill is of limestone of the Cretaceous period (Santonian-Coniacian period). Also found in the adjacent valley north of the hill were fossils of the Turonian period. The geological feature is Syrian Arc, tectonically generated during the late Cretaceous period 55 million years ago.


General Description of the hill and vicinity

     The hill is an anticline and strongly fractured as it is consisting of noncompetent thick-bedded limestone of the Cretaceous (Turonian 93.5-88.5 Ma) period. The hill is aligned 20° in a NE-SW direction. The fracturing is in the manner of a chessboard (Figure 1 is in Chapter 1 of Volume 3 book on the Exodus) and vulnerable to weathering in some areas. The seven scars on one side is matched by six on the other side. They are the result of fractures and weathering (Figure 2). That is what created the valleys on both flanks (weathering following the fractured parts). There may be some faults running perpendicular to the direction of stress being responsible for the slopes on both sides of the valley and the down-thrown features on the northern side of it.

     The inner part of the valley (North of the hill) is a syncline comprising of soft chalks of Santonian (88.5 - 83 Ma) and Campanian/Maastrichtian age (83.5-79 Ma) limestone but covered with lots of turonian debris from the hills.

The unworked flints found in the valleys around the hill are the remains from the soft tertiary limestone's, that did cover the area before being weathered away over time. Only the flints remained lying on the chalk, as seen in the great flint field found all around the hill.


Earthquake Faults

     There is a fault located at the north base of the hill as well as a fault further north across the valley. The resulting ridge line is the result of an uplift scarp rising 33.5 m above the valley floor.

     West of the hill about 1 km, is another fault that partially follows the wadi but branches off  to the north-west for an  undetermined distance. South of the hill is a wadi with a fault line running along the river. A 14-20 m high scarp is a result of this fault. Another fault intersects this fault and heads northeast at 20° and continues for at least 4 km.

Finally there are possibly three short faults that start from the northeast fault, 600± m from the Wadi, and continue northwest. The first of these faults intersect the hill at 185± m from its northeast end. The second fault intersects the northeastern tip of the hill.


Fracture Lines

      The seven fracture lines visible on one of the sides, are relatively close together ranging from 36 m to 80 m apart. Most of these fractures line up with fractures located on the other side of the hill as seen on the Map (Figure 2). These fractures may have been formed as a result of surface forces directed from two directions simultaneously namely from the southwest and the northeast. This probably occurred after the initial north-south forces formed the anticline to a height of 70 m above the north valley floor. This may explain why the presence of faults all around the hill.

      The fractures are analogous to taking a Plexiglas rod and applying forces from both ends towards the center while applying a third force upward at the center. The result would be fracture lines along the top of the rod. This hill is very unique on the Earth and may be the only one like it.


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(c) 1997-2018 Douglas Vogt, All rights reserved.

Diehold Foundation, Inc.
Diehold Foundation, Inc.