New insights on the tectonic evolution of the Miocene gap grabens of Sers–Siliana (Tunisian Atlas) during Neogene to Quaternary: Contribution of chronology of the regional tectonic events

  • N MahmoudiEmail author
  • F Ferhi
  • Y Houla
  • R Azizi
  • L Chihi


The NW–SE trending grabens of Sers–Siliana, located in the Central Tunisian Atlas, show a peculiarity, compared to adjacent grabens, which comes from the existence of an early Miocene sedimentary gap. This paper discusses the structural evolution of these grabens, during the Neogene–Quaternary episode, which have been poorly studied in previous studies. To better understand the chronology of the two grabens, a set of direct and indirect pieces of evidence are given in order. The results show that the collapse is of Aquitanian–Tortonian age which is synchronous with the regional collapse of the Alpine chain foreland grabens. In addition, our field observations show that the E-trending faults affect the incompetent materials (marls) and assured the mechanical junction between these two grabens. The chronology of tectonic events, during the Neogene–Quaternary time, in the Sers–Siliana area coincides with that described at the regional scale for the Tunisian Atlas domain, allowing a better understanding of the role played by the convergence between African and Eurasian plates.


Tunisian Atlas Neogene upper Tortonian quaternary subduction 



We would like to thank the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial committee. We would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for the help in improving the clarity of the manuscript.


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© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • N Mahmoudi
    • 1
    Email author
  • F Ferhi
    • 1
  • Y Houla
    • 2
  • R Azizi
    • 3
  • L Chihi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Sciences of BizerteCarthage UniversityJarzouna-BizerteTunisia
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesNational Office of MinesCharguiaTunisia
  3. 3.Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Sciences of GafsaGafsa UniversityGafsaTunisia

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