This first edition of the Seismotectonic Map of Africa is the result of a multidisciplinary collaborative work that required the establishment of scientific and technical specifications as well as the creation of a working group competent in the analysis of existing data. The project, which follows a proposal from the African Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO), was carried out between 2011 and 2016 under the aegis of the Commission of the Geological Map of the World and the support of the following institutions UNESCO (Paris headquarters and Nairobi office) as Project 601 of the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP); 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 print version of this first edition of the map was prepared and presented at the 35th International Geological Congress held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 27 August to 4 September 2016.
The printed version of the Seismotectonic Map of Africa is a 1:10,000,000 scale synthesis of regional maps (the Seismotectonic and seismic risk map of Tunisia is provided here - click to download- as an example of these regional maps). The map shows the distribution of historical and instrumental earthquakes, neotectonic and quaternary faults, two inserts showing plate kinematics and velocity vectors, and a map of the main tectonic stresses. The map is accompanied by explanatory notes and can be downloaded here. More information and data on the 1:5,000,000 map are available on the website of the Strasbourg School and Observatory of Earth Sciences: http://eost.u-strasbg.fr/igcp601/Documents.html
The African continent contains geological structures affected by active deformation zones. Seismically active regions are mainly located along rift zones, folded and thrust belts, transform faults and volcanic fields. Several tectonic structures can thus generate strong earthquakes that can cause significant damage and affect the economy. The development of thematic mapping, with the identification and characterisation of active seismic zones, forms the basis for the work on seismic risk assessment and the definition of measures for disaster prevention.
In addition to the preparation of this map, the aim was to set up a database containing information on: historical and instrumental earthquakes, active tectonics, stress tensor distribution, earthquake geology, palaeoseismicity, active deformation and earthquake geodesy (GPS), crustal structure and seismic tomography, gravimetric, magnetic and structural segmentation, volcanic fields, rifting processes and geodynamic evolution. A master plan for organising the preparation of the seismotectonic map, and the analysis of the related data, has been established beforehand to ensure the homogeneity of the results. Thus, harmonisation (e.g. earthquake intensity and magnitude, fault parameters, etc.) at local, regional and continental scales was an important step in this process. Data collection and storage was organised by following a geo-referencing process in GIS format.
Authors and contributors:
Co-authorsPaulina Amponsah (GAEC, Accra, Ghana), Abdelhakim Ayadi (CRAAG, Algiers, Algeria), Atalay Ayele (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia), Bekoa Ateba (IRGM, Yaoundé, Cameroon), Abdunnur Bensuleman (Tripoli Univ, Libya), Damien Delvaux (RMCA-Tervuren, Belgium), Mohamed El Gabry (NRIAG, Cairo, Egypt), Rui-Manuel Fernandes (UBI/IDL, Portugal), Vunganai Midzi & Magda Roos (Council for Geoscience (CSG), Pretoria, South Africa) and Youssef Timoulali (Univ. Mohamed V, Rabat, Morocco)
Staff: Mourad Bezzeghoud (University of Evora, Portugal), Joao Fonseca (Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal), Chris Hartnady (Umvoto, South Africa), Ray Durrheim and Alain-Pierre Tokam Kamga (Wits University, South Africa), Nacer Jabour (CNRST Rabat, Morocco), Alaeddine Belfoul (University of Agadir, Morocco), Abdelkader Soumaya (University of Tunis), Boniface Kankeu (IRGM, Yaoundé, Cameroon), Richard Ferdinand (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) Hesham Hussein (NRIAG, Egypt), Nada Ahmed (Geological Survey of Sudan), Said Maouche and Assia Harbi, Farida Ousadou (CRAAG Algiers, Algeria), Eric Calais (ENS, Paris), Cécile Doubre (IPG Strasbourg) Brassnavy Manzunzu and Thifhelimbilu Mulabisana (CGS, South Africa), Kwangwari Marimira (Goetz Obs, Zimbabwe), Gladys Kianji (University of Nairobi), Bertrand Delouis (Géosciences Azur, Nice) and Rocco Malservisi (University of South Florida, USA).
Reference of the article published in the journal Episodes of the IUGS :
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