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https://ccgm.org/176-404-thickbox_leoshoe/seismotectonic-map-of-africa.jpg View full size

Seismotectonic Map of Africa

1st edition (2016)
Scale: 1:15 000 000
Dimensions: 96 x 96 cm
Coordinator and corresponding author: Mustapha Meghraoui (EOST - IPG Strasbourg, France)
(See below list of co-authors and collaborators)



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The first edition of the Seismotectonic Map of Africa is the result of a multidisciplinary task that required the definition of scientific and technical characteristics and the organisation of a working group able to conduct the analysis of existing data. The project followed the proposal of the Organization of the African Geological Surveys (OAGS) and was carried out under the aegis of the Commission of the Geological Map of the World with support from UNESCO (Paris and Nairobi offices) – International Geological Program (IGCP) Project 601 from 2011 to 2016, NAGET (North African Group of Earthquake and Tsunami studies), the Global Earthquake Model (GEM Foundation), the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and the Geological Society of Africa. The printed version of this first edition of the map was prepared to be presented at the 35th IGC (Cape Town, 27 August – 4 September, 2016).

The printed version of the Seismotectonic Map of Africa is a synthesis originally prepared at the 1:10 000 000 scale based on regional scale maps (the Seismotectonic and Seismic Hazards Map of Tunisia is provided here -click to download- as one example of these regional maps).  It features major historical and instrumental seismicity distribution, neotectonic and quaternary faults, two sketches of plate movement (with kinematic indicators) and plate map with principal stress direction.  The map is accompanied by Explanatory notes with legend of symbols downloadable clicking here. More information and data on the project at 1:5 000 000 is available at http://eost.u-strasbg.fr/igcp601/Documents.html

The African continent is made of various geological structures that include zones of active deformation. Seismically active regions are primarily located along rift zones, thrust and fold mountain belts, transform faults and volcanic fields. Several tectonic structures may generate large earthquakes with significant damage and economic losses in Africa. The development of thematic mapping with the identification and characterization of seismically active zones constitutes the framework for the seismic hazard assessment and mitigation of catastrophes.

Along with the map preparation, a major objective was the building of a database on historical and instrumental seismicity, active tectonics, stress tensor distribution, earthquake geology, paleoseismology, active deformation and earthquake geodesy (GPS), crustal structure and seismic tomography, gravity, magnetic and structural segmentation, volcanic fields, rifting processes and geodynamic evolution. Guidelines for the seismotectonic map preparation and related data analysis were necessary to obtain homogeneous results. An important step was the database harmonization (e.g., earthquake intensities, magnitudes, fault parameters, etc.) at the local, regional and continental level. The data collection and storage are organized under geo-referenced feature using GIS.

List of co-authors and collaborators
Co-authors: Paulina Amponsah (GAEC, Accra, Ghana), Abdelhakim Ayadi (CRAAG, Algiers, Algeria), Atalay Ayele (Addis Ababa Univ., Ethiopia), Bekoa Ateba (IRGM, Yaounde, Cameroon), Abdunnur Bensuleman (Tripoli Univ., Libya), Damien Delvaux (MRAC-Tervuren, Belgium), Mohamed El Gabry (NRIAG, Cairo, Egypt), Rui-Manuel Fernandes (UBI/IDL, Portugal), Vunganai Midzi & Magda Roos (CGS, Pretoria, South Africa) and Youssef Timoulali (Univ. Mohamed V, Rabat, Morocco).

Collaborators: Mourad Bezzeghoud (Evora University, Portugal), Joao Fonseca (Lisbon Technical University, Portugal), Chris Hartnady (Umvoto, South Africa), Ray Durrheim and Alain-Pierre Tokam Kamga (Wits Univ. S. Africa), Nacer Jabour (CNRST Rabat, Morocco), Alaeddine Belfoul (Agadir Univ., Morocco), Abdelkader Soumaya (Univ. Tunis), Boniface Kankeu (IRGM, Yaounde, Cameroon), Richard Ferdinand (Dar es Salam Univ.Tanzania), Hesham Hussein (NRIAG, Egypt), Nada Ahmed (Geol Survey, Sudan), Said Maouche and AssiaHarbi, Farida Ousadou (CRAAG Algiers, Algeria), Eric Calais (ENS, Paris), Cecile Doubre (IPG Strasbourg), Brassnavy Manzunzu and Thifhelimbilu Mulabisana (CGS, S. Africa), Kwangwari Marimira (Goetz Obs, Zimbabwe), Gladys Kianji (University of Nairobi), Bertrand Delouis (Géosciences Azur, Nice) and Rocco Malservisi (University of South Florida).

Reference Episodes publication
Meghraoui, M., P. Amponsah, A. Ayadi, A. Ayele, B. Ateba, A. Bensuleman, D. Delvaux; M. El Gabry, R.-M. Fernandes, V. Midzi, M. Roos, Y. Timoulali, 2016, The Seismotectonic Map of Africa, Episodes Vol. 39, no. 1, DOI:10.18814/epiiugs/2016/v39i1/8923

  • Length 96 cm
  • Width 96 cm
  • Weight 0.140 kg
  • Scale 1:10 000 000