EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Neogene to recent geodynamic evolution of Northern Tunisia foreland thrust belt.

Seifeddine Gaidi1,2, Fetheddine Melki1, Guillermo Booth-Rea2,3, Wissem Marzougui4, Jose Vicente Pérez-Peña2,5, Patricia Ruano2,3, Jorge Pedro Galve2, Haifa Chouaieb4, Jose Miguel Azañón2,5, and Fouad Zargouni1
Seifeddine Gaidi et al.
  • 1Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunis 1068, Tunisia;(;(;(
  • 2Departamento de Geodinámica, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain;(;(;(;(;(
  • 3CISC-UGR, Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (IACT), 18100 Armilla, Spain
  • 4Office National des Mines, Tunis 2035, Tunisia;(;(
  • 5Instituto Andaluz de Geofísica (IAG), Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain

This work analyses the tectonic evolution of Northern Tunisia from the Late Miocene to Present. Two orthogonal extensional systems with ENE- and SE-directed transport produced the extensional collapse of the Tell and Atlas Foreland Thrust Belts (FTBs) in northern Tunisia during the Late Miocene to Pliocene in a context of NW-SE plate convergence between Africa and Eurasia. These systems produced the extensional denudation of the Tunisian Atlas and Tell foreland thrust belts, which we related to deep mantle tectonic mechanisms, known as a common feature in other FTB´s in the western Mediterranean, i.e. Betics, Rif, Calabria and Apennines. Low-angle normal faults have extended and reworked the Tunisian Tell external foreland thrust belt, exhuming midcrustal lower-greenschist metapelites and marbles with Triassic protholiths, and forming Late Miocene basins. This extension was followed by later Pliocene to Present tectonic inversion, developing the active shortening structures in Northern Tunisia. The main shortening structure is formed by different reverse and strike-slip fault segments, linked forming the 130 km long Alia-Thibar fault zone. Restored Plio-Quaternary deformation observed on reflection seismic lines indicates deformation rates around 0.6-0.8 mm/yr in the studied segments and larger amounts of shortening to the West of Northern Tunisia (16%) than to the East (7%), which suggests that tectonic inversion started earlier to the West and later propagated eastwards, reaching Northeastern Tunisia in the Late Pliocene. Due to the young age of this tectonic inversion, the present relief of Northern Tunisia is characteristic of a young thrust and fold belt, with dominating axial valleys along synforms and an incipient transverse drainage development propagating from West to East.

How to cite: Gaidi, S., Melki, F., Booth-Rea, G., Marzougui, W., Pérez-Peña, J. V., Ruano, P., Galve, J. P., Chouaieb, H., Azañón, J. M., and Zargouni, F.: Neogene to recent geodynamic evolution of Northern Tunisia foreland thrust belt., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10619,, 2022.