Journal of Seismology

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 115–136 | Cite as

Re-appraisal of seismicity and seismotectonics in the north-eastern Algeria Part I: Review of historical seismicity

  • Assia Harbi
  • Djilali Benouar
  • Hadj Benhallou


As large destructive seismic events are not frequent in Algeria, anexhaustive knowledge of the historical seismicity is required to have arealistic view of seismic hazard in this part of the world. This research workpresents a critical reappraisal of seismicity in the north-eastern Algeria forseismotectonic and seismic hazard purposes. This part of work focuses onthe seismicity of pre-1900 period for the area under consideration[33°N-38°N, 4°E-9.5°E]. By going back tothe available documentary sources and evaluating and analysing the eventsin geographical, cultural and historical context, it has been possible toidentify 111 events, from 1850–1899, which are not reported in therecent Algerian catalogue. Several spurious events, reported in standardlistings, have been deleted and nine unknown events have been discovered.It is quite clear that macroseismic information derived from press reportsand published documents in Algeria, under certain conditions, is veryincomplete, even for destructive earthquakes, located in the countrysideaway from communication centres. One of the reasons for this iscensorship, noticeable during the colonisation period. Critical analysis ofnewly collected information has allowed the determination and/or theimprovement of the macroseismic parameters of each event, such aslocation, maximum epicentral intensity and magnitude to produce anearthquake catalogue as homogeneous and complete as the available data,for the zone under study. The criteria used in this research are explainedand eight historical earthquakes have been the subject of retrospectivemacroseismic field construction.The investigation of historical earthquakes is one of the most important taskin studying seismotectonic for seismic hazard evaluation purposes.

Algeria earthquake catalogue historical seismicity isoseismal maps macroseismic parameters 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Assia Harbi
    • 1
  • Djilali Benouar
    • 2
  • Hadj Benhallou
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche en Astronomie, Astrophysique et GéophysiqueAlgiersAlgeria
  2. 2.Faculté de Génie Civil-Génie MécaniqueUniversity of Bab Ezzouar (USTHB)AlgiersAlgeria
  3. 3.Faculté des Sciences de la Terre, de la Géographie et de l'Aménagement du TerritoireUniversity of Bab Ezzouar (USTHB)AlgiersAlgeria

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