The desertic Theban hills between the edge of the alluvial plain of the Nile River and the prominent cliffs at the eastern edge of the Theban Plateau consist of imbricated tilted blocks organized in parallel groups representing successive generations of gravitational collapse structures (or slumps). The older (distal) generations correspond to low, rounded hills farther from the Theban cliffs. The youngest (proximal) generation forms higher hills with young relief. The tilted blocks rest along listric faults on the substratum (Tarawan Chalk and Esna Shale Formations) and abut the Theban cliffs. Faults and warping occur at the contacts between proximal and distal tilted blocks. We hypothesize that the emplacements of the tilted blocks were related to major Pleistocene pluvial episodes, each marked by active flow of the Nile River and significant recess of the Theban cliffs. Tectonic thinning and intensive erosion of the Esna Shale Formation were determinant in shaping the Theban landscape.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes
- Geological mapping
- Gravitational collapse structures
- Pleistocene pluvials
- Theban Necropolis Luxor Egypt