EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

GIS-based morphotectonic and geomorphometric assessment for the Moroccan High Atlas mountain ranges, Morocco.

Athanasios V. Argyriou1, Hamza Skikra2, Khalid Amrouch2,3, and Abderrahmane Soulaimani4
Athanasios V. Argyriou et al.
  • 1ERATOSTHENES Centre of Excellence, Resilient Society, Limassol, 3012, Cyprus (
  • 2Geology & Sustainable Mining Institute, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Lot-660, Benguerir 43150, Morocco (
  • 3School of Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences , The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia (
  • 4Dynamique de la Lithosphère et Genèse des Ressources Minérales et Energétiques, Université Cadi Ayyad, B.P. 2390, Marrakech, Morocco (

The geomorphological and tectonic processes being responsible for the control of the mountain ranges geometry is feasible to be assessed through geomorphological and morphotectonic indices. Those indices are dependent on tectonic or erosional processes and other factors influencing the development of the landforms. Tectonic geomorphology applications using satellite-based remotely sensed data, such as Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), can highlight specific geomorphic features capable to provide useful information and knowledge towards the evaluation of the regional tectonic activity in mountain ranges. This study examines the Moroccan High Atlas mountain range by using morphotectonic and geomorphometric indices such as the channel steepness index, amplitude of relief index, stream length gradient index, swath profiles, local relief and hillslope mapping to determine the distribution of the tectonic activity variations. Through those indices the evaluation of the geomorphic responses to tectonics takes place by highlighting the relationships between tectonic activity, rock resistance, stream channel slope, active or recent vertical displacements. The outcomes of the geomorphometric and morphotectonic investigation highlight the presence of considerable geomorphic variations across the main fault zones featuring the orogen’s anatomy, while tectonic activity seems to be a major factor controlling and shaping the Moroccan High Atlas mountain range landscape. The methodological framework of this study could be developed into a low-cost technique for assessing seismic hazard, offering a valuable tool towards assessing disaster risk reduction activities, whereas in conjunction with other factors the georesources exploration. 



The corresponding author acknowledges the 'EXCELSIOR': ERATOSTHENES: Excellence Research Centre for Earth Surveillance and Space-Based Monitoring of the Environment H2020 Widespread Teaming project ( The 'EXCELSIOR' project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 857510, from the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for the European Programmes, Coordination and Development and the Cyprus University of Technology.

How to cite: Argyriou, A. V., Skikra, H., Amrouch, K., and Soulaimani, A.: GIS-based morphotectonic and geomorphometric assessment for the Moroccan High Atlas mountain ranges, Morocco., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12569,, 2023.