EGU24-9421, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Active deformation in Tunisia from GNSS measurements

Hamza Kristou1,2, Frédéric Masson1, Néjib Bahrouni3, Mustapha Meghraoui1, and Patrice Ulrich1
Hamza Kristou et al.
  • 1University of Strasbourg, Institut Terre & Environnement de Strasbourg, France
  • 2Faculty of sciences of Bizerte, Tunisia
  • 3National Office of Mines, Tunisia

Tunisia lies at the centre of the East-West trending convergence zone between the Nubian and Eurasian plates, at the eastern end of the large tectonic structures of the Atlas and Tell mountains and to the west of the Pelagian block and Sicily. As a result, its complex tectonics along the plate boundary show N-S to NW-SE oblique convergence expressed by E-W- to WNW-ESE-trending right-lateral strike-slip faults associated with E-W- to NE-SW-trending thrust faults that affect the Neogene and Quaternary units of the Tell and Sahara Atlas of Tunisia.

Although this region is generally characterized by moderate seismicity, it is known for its historical and instrumental seismic activity that has resulted in human and materiel losses, such as in Utique 408 AD, Kairouan 859 AD, Tozer 1997 and recently in March 2018 an earthquake felt between Tunis and Bizerte and in April 2023 an earthquake felt in Metlaoui, both earthquakes registered (Mw 5).

A partnership between the National Office of Mines ONM-Tunisia and ITES-Strasbourg is being set up to develop spatial geodesy work using GNSS measurements to characterize and quantify the active deformation of Tunisia alongside previous tectonic and seismotectonic works.

A network of already existing 21 GNSS stations spread over the Tunisian territory is managed by OTC (Office of topography and cadaster) so in the framework of this project 6 days/year of records from 2012 to 2019 has been purchased.

To improve the resolution of the acquired data and fill the gaps between the OTC stations, a national network consisting of 24 mobile stations is set up and three campaigns of 3 days of records in 2019, 2021 and 2023 have already been carried out.

Between 2022 and 2023, five more permanent stations have been installed to provide a continuous flow of data.

Two target areas, Gafsa and Kairouan have been chosen to install regional networks consisting of 16 sites each around active faults. Three campaigns in 2021, 2022 and 2023 have been carried out and one more is planned in 2024 to detect the deformation in those areas.

All these data allowed the calculation of a precise velocity field of Tunisia based on GPS trends and the establishment of the strain rate distribution across continental Tunisia. These new data will be analyzed in the light of existing knowledge, in particular the recent seismotectonic and paleoseismological work carried out as part of our project.

How to cite: Kristou, H., Masson, F., Bahrouni, N., Meghraoui, M., and Ulrich, P.: Active deformation in Tunisia from GNSS measurements, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9421,, 2024.