Journal of Seismology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 301–318 | Cite as

Neo-deterministic seismic hazard assessment in North Africa

  • T. Mourabit
  • K. M. Abou Elenean
  • A. Ayadi
  • D. Benouar
  • A. Ben Suleman
  • M. Bezzeghoud
  • A. Cheddadi
  • M. Chourak
  • M. N. ElGabry
  • A. Harbi
  • M. Hfaiedh
  • H. M. Hussein
  • J. Kacem
  • A. Ksentini
  • N. Jabour
  • A. Magrin
  • S. Maouche
  • M. Meghraoui
  • F. Ousadou
  • G. F. Panza
  • A. Peresan
  • N. Romdhane
  • F. Vaccari
  • E. Zuccolo
Original Article


North Africa is one of the most earthquake-prone areas of the Mediterranean. Many devastating earthquakes, some of them tsunami-triggering, inflicted heavy loss of life and considerable economic damage to the region. In order to mitigate the destructive impact of the earthquakes, the regional seismic hazard in North Africa is assessed using the neo-deterministic, multi-scenario methodology (NDSHA) based on the computation of synthetic seismograms, using the modal summation technique, at a regular grid of 0.2 × 0.2°. This is the first study aimed at producing NDSHA maps of North Africa including five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. The key input data for the NDSHA algorithm are earthquake sources, seismotectonic zonation, and structural models. In the preparation of the input data, it has been really important to go beyond the national borders and to adopt a coherent strategy all over the area. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the teams involved, it has been possible to properly merge the earthquake catalogues available for each country to define with homogeneous criteria the seismogenic zones, the characteristic focal mechanism associated with each of them, and the structural models used to model wave propagation from the sources to the sites. As a result, reliable seismic hazard maps are produced in terms of maximum displacement (D max), maximum velocity (V max), and design ground acceleration.


North Africa Seismotectonics Deterministic seismic hazard Seismogenic zone Design ground acceleration 



This work, dedicated to the memory of the first coordinator of the North African Seismological Group (NASG), the late Attia El-Sayed, started in 2005 at LBE-USTHB (Algiers), carried on at the Geology Department of Abdelmalek Essaadi University (Tangiers) in 2007 and recently at ENIT (Tunis) in 2012. It is a fruit of a collaborative effort of the first core of NASG members when the network was restricted to 15 scientists and five countries only (Sudan has joined in 2010 and the number of NAGET (formerly NASG; see members increased to 136). This research benefited from the ICTP-OEA (Trieste) Programme in the framework of the North African Group for Earthquake and Tsunami studies (NAGET) activities. The seismotectonic investigations were supported by the IGCP 601 project “Seismotectonics and Seismic Hazards of Africa.” The authors are indebted to the ICTP-SAND Group for making available algorithms, software and computational resources that made this work possible. We are particularly grateful to Carlo Doglioni for his advices and comments about the structural geology and geodynamics modeling of the study area.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Mourabit
    • 1
  • K. M. Abou Elenean
    • 2
  • A. Ayadi
    • 3
  • D. Benouar
    • 4
  • A. Ben Suleman
    • 5
  • M. Bezzeghoud
    • 6
  • A. Cheddadi
    • 1
  • M. Chourak
    • 7
  • M. N. ElGabry
    • 2
  • A. Harbi
    • 3
  • M. Hfaiedh
    • 8
  • H. M. Hussein
    • 2
  • J. Kacem
    • 9
  • A. Ksentini
    • 10
  • N. Jabour
    • 11
  • A. Magrin
    • 12
    • 13
  • S. Maouche
    • 3
  • M. Meghraoui
    • 14
  • F. Ousadou
    • 3
  • G. F. Panza
    • 12
    • 13
    • 15
  • A. Peresan
    • 12
    • 13
  • N. Romdhane
    • 10
  • F. Vaccari
    • 12
    • 13
  • E. Zuccolo
    • 13
  1. 1.Département de GéologieUniversité Abdelmalek EssaadiTangiersMorocco
  2. 2.National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, NRIAGHelwanEgypt
  3. 3.Centre de Recherche en Astronomie, Astrophysique et Géophysique, CRAAGAlgiersAlgeria
  4. 4.Faculté de Génie CivileUniversité de Bab Ezzouar (USTHB)AlgiersAlgeria
  5. 5.Tripoli UniversityTripoliLibya
  6. 6.Evora UniversityEvoraPortugal
  7. 7.OLMAN-RN, Faculté Pluridisciplinaire, NadorUniversité Mohamed IOujdaMorocco
  8. 8.Nuclear Power Project, Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz, STEGTunisTunisia
  9. 9.Faculté des Science de SfaxSfaxTunisia
  10. 10.Ecole Nationale des Ingénieurs de TunisTunisTunisia
  11. 11.Centre National de Recherche Scientifique et TechniqueRabatMorocco
  12. 12.ESP Section, SAND GroupThe Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, ICTPTriesteItaly
  13. 13.Dipartimento di Matematica e GeoscienzeUniversità di TriesteTriesteItaly
  14. 14.Institut de Physique du Globe, UMR 7516StrasbourgFrance
  15. 15.Institute of GeophysicsChina Earthquake AdministrationBeijingChina

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