Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 169, Issue 4, pp 677–691 | Cite as

The Tadjena Earthquake (Mw = 5.0) of December 16, 2006 in the Cheliff Region (Northern Algeria): Waveform Modelling, Regional Stresses, and Relation with the Boukadir Fault

  • H. BeldjoudiEmail author
  • B. Delouis
  • A. Heddar
  • O. B. Nouar
  • A. Yelles-Chaouche


The Cheliff region has experienced some significant earthquakes in the last century (1937, 1954, and 1980). The most destructive one is that of El Asnam on October 10, 1980, Ms = 7.3 (Io = IX), which destroyed the Chlef city (formerly El Asnam) and its surrounding villages. On December 16, 2006 a moderate earthquake (Mw = 5.0) hit the Cheliff region. The maximum observed intensity (Io = V: MSK-scale) was observed at Abou El Hassen, Benaria, Bouzghaïa and Tadjena. No damages or human losses were recorded. Nevertheless, minor cracks on walls of the old school at Tadjena were observed. The point source focal mechanism of the event was determined by inverting the waveforms of three regional broadband stations of the ADSN (Algerian Digital Seismic Network). It corresponds to thrust-reverse faulting with a strike-slip component. The stress tensor obtained by the inversion of the 15 focal mechanisms available in the Cheliff region exhibits a well constrained compression axis σ1 horizontal and trending N145°. The NW dipping nodal plane indicating a NE–SW thrust fault with a right-lateral component (strike, dip, rake = 249, 38, 137) is more compatible with the regional stress tensor than the steep dipping NNE-SSW nodal plane showing reverse faulting with a left-lateral component (strike, dip, rake = 15, 65, 60). Accordingly, the Tadjena moderate size earthquake can be related to the Boukadir active fault bordering the lower Cheliff basin to the north, a situation similar to that of the El Asnam fault bordering the middle Cheliff basin to the north.


Tellian Atlas waveform modelling source parameters Algeria Cheliff seismicity focal mechanism regional stresses 



We thank anonymous reviewers and the editor Lupei Zhu for their valuable comments. We want to thank also, T. Allili, S. Haned and A. Deramchi to have provided us with broadband records, event location and macroseismic data respectively. This work was supported by CRAAG and Geosciences Azur.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Beldjoudi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • B. Delouis
    • 2
  • A. Heddar
    • 1
  • O. B. Nouar
    • 1
  • A. Yelles-Chaouche
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche en Astronomie Astrophysique et GéophysiqueBouzaréahAlgérie
  2. 2.Laboratoire Géoazur, Université de Nice-Sophia AntipolisValbonneFrance

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