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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 63 (1979)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 477

Last Page: 477

Title: Tunisia--Plate Tectonics and Hydrocarbon Accumulation of Contiguous Areas: ABSTRACT

Author(s): W. H. Kanes, R. Ehrlich, S. Schamel

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The position of Tunisia on the African plate is of importance to explorationists. Present work suggests that the African plate margin roughly coincides with the present northern African-Sicilian coastline. The eastern margin of this Algerian-Tunisian-Sicilian salient of the African plate is marked by the east coast of Sicily and the Malta Scarp. This sharply defined feature continues into the Gulf of Sirte where it joins with the post-Jurassic extensional Sirte basin. This represents a zone where eastern North Africa (Egypt and Cyrenaica) moved northeastward and western North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and western Tripolitania) have a more northwesterly vector of movement. There may be a shear component in addition to the extensional faulting on the west side of t e Sirte basin, which continues into the Malta Scarp.

Active rifting in Tunisia extends from Late Triassic through early Miocene with no appreciable compression. Miocene to Holocene compression is associated with collision along the northern continental margin. The Pantelleria trough and horst zone in central Tunisia developed in response to these stresses, as did the final tectonic framework of the zone of diapirs-Zaghouan fault and the Kasserine Island. These features buffered the Gabes basin and Cretaceous platform on the south from this compression.

This model defines as prospective all of northern Tunisia (except the northern Numidian zone), Sicily and the offshore Malta Bank, Gabes basin, and the Cretaceous shelf area.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists