Field Trips

Immediately prior and after the conference, 3 (three) field trips to some of the geological wonders of Tunisia are planned, offering the attendees the chance to explore the wonders of Tunisia and discover new experiences and sensations.

Participants will be able to explore and uncover many mysteries of local geological history. All field trips are fun and educational, so accompanying persons are also welcome to join in. However, some of our trips may not be suitable for children younger than 10 years old.

Notes on field trips:

  • Field-trip guides will be available in July 2019.
  • Online registration to the field trips will open on 25 July 2019 (see Registration).
  • Registration will remain open until the field trips fill up.
  • Payment is due immediately after receipt of field trip registration confirmation.
  • Your field trip slot(s) will not be confirmed until payment is received before the deadline of 15 October 2019.
  • All payment must be made by bank transfer to the account on the registration confirmation.
  • If you prefer pay cash on-site at the conference desk, please send a scanned copy of your airline ticket before 10 November 2019.
  • Field trips do not involve extended walking.
  • Each field trip can accommodate a fixed number of people.
  • We recommend registering as soon as possible after 25 July 2019 since some field trips fill up fast.
  • When the maximum number has been reached, you will be placed on a waiting list.
  • If the minimum number of participants is not reached, we reserve the right to cancel the trip.
  • If you cancel before 1 October 2019, we will return payment to you at the conference registration desk.
  • If a field trip is cancelled we will return payment to you at the conference registration desk.
  • No refund will be granted to no-shows.
  • Participants in Field Trip 1 must provide their own transportation to Djerba Island (e.g. connecting flight from Tunis-Carthage airport or direct flight to Djerba airport).
  • For Field Trip 1, there will be a free shuttle service for participants between Djerba airport and the hotel on the island (30 mins, see Registration).
  • Field-trip registration fee covers hotel stay for all field-trip nights.
  • Meals and drinks will be included during all field-trip days.
  • We will provide a list of items you should bring on the day of the trip after the registration deadline of 15 September 2019.
  • We maintain a fleet of at least five specially equipped vehicles (per field trip) with professional drivers for exclusive use during field trips and excursions.
  • Please contact us for more information if you have further questions (

Please click below to get more information about each field trip:

Field Trip 1

Tectono-stratigraphic history of the Saharan domain, southern Tunisia

21-24 November 2019

Participation Fee :

550 Euros (student)
650 Euros (academic)
750 Euros (professional)


Samir Bouaziz, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia
Mohamed Soussi, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunisia

This two-day field trip will take place in the beautiful natural setting of the Saharan platform of southern Tunisia, which occupies a special position within the northern African margin. It is a privileged area for geodynamic reconstruction since the Paleozoic, because of the well identified morphotectonic domains and important sedimentary basin. Participants will learn about the complete stratigraphic sequences, which range in age from Late Permian to Quaternary, and the structural records characteristic of southern Tunisia. The sites have been carefully selected to better understand the Paleozoic orogenic cycle (paleotethys evidence), the Mesozoic tectonics cycle (Tethyan rifting) and the Cenozoic tectonics (evidence of Alpine-Atlasic orogeny). The circuit will also cover the only marine sequences of Late Permian in Africa outcropping at Djebel Tebaga of Medenine and the Mesozoic/Cenozoic subsidence basin (Tataouine, Chott, Jeffara). The complex uplift zone of Telezane and the fault system of Jeffara will be presented in particular in the context of the history of the Ghadames basin. This field trip welcomes senior and early-career scientists from all fields of the geosciences. The field trip guidebook will be available for download in summer 2019. The itinerary will include the following stops

Day 1 (21 November 2019): Arrival to Djerba Island

  • 12:00 Arrival of international flights to Tunis airport and departure of connecting flights from Tunis to Djerba Island / Arrival of European flights to Djerba airport
  • 14:00 Check into Djerba hotel (Sentido Djerba Beache)
  • 18:00 Dinner in the hotel
  • 19:00 Meeting with the field-trip co-leaders

Day 2 (22 November 2019): Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic orogenic cycle of Saharan domain

  • 07:00 Checkout and departure from Djerba hotel (Sentido Djerba Beache)
  • 08:00 Jorf-Boughrara Lagune: Djerba cultural heritage, geographical, geological and structural framework of S. Tunisia (morphostructural features, Dahar plateau, Jeffara fault system / Lagune of Boughrara: Communication with the Mediterranean Sea and sea level changes
  • 09:30 Jebel Tajera: Structural geometry and Bathonian nonconformity
  • 10 :30 Jebel Tebaga of Medenine: Permian rocks, marine character, reef bodies, Fusilinidea, major nonconformities, deformation style, structural geometry, uplift zone, paleogeographic reconstruction, and paleotethys evidence
  • 11.30 Coffee break in the field 
  • 12 :00 Halk Jmal: Permian-Triassic transition and Vraconian-Permian nonconformity
  • 12:30 Sidi Stout: Intra-Triassic nonconformity and structural geometry
  • 13:00 Field lunch at Restaurant "Le Bedouin" in Zammour 
  • 14:30 Sidi Stout: Intra-Triassic nonconformity and structural geometry
  • 15:00 Kef El Aneba: Jurassic stratigraphic sequences, basin border, and Triassic nonconformity
  • 16:00 Col of Bir Miteur: Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous stratigraphic sequences and Albian nonconformity
  • 16:30 Oued Zaafrane: Jurassic-Early Cretaceous and Callovian bioherms
  • 18:00 Arrival to Hotel Sangho in Tataouine
  • 19:00 Dinner in the hotel and overnight stay
  • 21:00 Roundtable discussion: Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic orogenic cycle of Saharan domain
  • 21:30 Local traditional musical party

Day 3 (23 November 2019): Tectono-stratigraphy evolution of southern Tunisia

  • 08:00Checkout and departure from Hotel Sangho in Tataouine
  • 08:30 Visit to Museum “Memory of the Earth”
  • 09:30 Merbah El Asfer: Continental series, flaura, sea level changes, and filling up of the basin
  • 10:00 Chenini: Landscape description, Dahar plateau, Albian nonconformity and fossil vertebrates / Visit to the Berber archeological site of Chenini (Troglodyte)
  • 11:00 Visit to the Old city of Ghomrassene / Visit of the prehistoric shelters (Aïn Sefri), Engrave Rupestre and Neolithic civilization.
  • 11:30 Coffee break in Haddada Ksar / Visit to the ancient buildings of Ksours and filming location of “Star Wars” movie
  • 12:00 Beni Ghdir: Callovian stratigraphic sequences, Dinosaurs tracks, deformation style, Tatatouine subsident basin, and Tethyan rifting evidence
  • 13:00 Lunch in “Relax Coffee Lounge”
  • 14:00 Zemlet El Ghar: Mestaoua plain, Liassic evaporites, Tectonic control, E-W Zemlet El Ghar Fault, subsident basin, and Triassic-Liassic transition
  • 15:00 Smar / J. Rehach: Triassic stratigraphic sequences (Germanic character), Norian nonconformity, tectono-sedimentary record, and structural geometry
  • 16:30 Sum-up: Tectono-stratigraphy evolution of S. Tunisia, basin development (Ghadames, Tataouine, Jeffara), tectonic inversion, role of tectonic inheritance, and geodynamical reconstruction
  • 17:00 Return to Djerba Island via the Roman road
  • 19:00 Arrival and overnight stay at Djerba hotel (Sentido Djerba Beache)

Day 4 (24 November 2019)

  • 06:30 Checkout from Djerba hotel (Sentido Djerba Beachee)
  • 07:00 Departure from Djerba to Sfax
  • 10:00 Guided tour in the city of Sfax, founded in AD 850 on the ruins of Taparura during the Roman Empire
  • 12:00 Lunch in the old city of Sfax at Dar Baya Hotel
  • 13:00 Departure to El Jem with its impressive ruins of the largest colosseum in North Africa illustrating the grandeur of Imperial Rome
  • 15:00 Departure to Sousse
  • 17:00 Check into Sousse conference hotels and registration at the conference


Field Trip 2

Neotectonics, archeoseismology and surface effects of historical earthquakes in Kairouan area

29 November 2019

Participation Fee:

20 Euros (student)
50 Euros (academic)
80 Euros (professional)


Néjib Bahrouni, The National Office of Mines, Tunis, Tunisia
Mustapha Meghraoui, Institut de Physique du Globe Strasbourg, France
Klaus Hinzen, Cologne University, Germany
Ridha Maamri, The National Office of Mines, Tunis, Tunisia
Faouzi Mahfoudh, The National Institute of Heritage, Tunis, Tunisia

Kairouan city was built in AD 675 at the location of the Roman town Vicus Augusti, on the Roman “via” (road) that connects Hadrametum (now Sousse) to Amaedra (now Haïdra) passing by Aquae Regia (now Haffouz). The city is limited to the east by the small lake and swamp areas of Sebkhet Sidi El Hani and Sebkhet El Kelbia. Numerous villages can be found to the west built on alluvial fan deposits of the Wadi Zeroud and Wadi Merguellil rivers. Before the Arab conquest, this alluvial plain was the site of large fields with dense olive trees and gardens to the point that the Arab leader Okba Ibn Nafaa had to order deforestation to build Kairouan (Al-Bakri, XIth century, in. Mahfoud et al., 2004). The city became a large urban area during the Aghlabids dynasty (AD 800 – 909).

The region has a low level of seismicity with shallow instrumental earthquakes that hardly reach Mw 5.5 (in INM Catalogue). However, historical documents describe the occurrence of earthquakes with significant casualties and damage. This was the case for the Kairouan AD 859 earthquake that was responsible of numerous victims, homeless people, affected the great mosque and destroyed 13 villages in the region (Al Baghdadi, Al Tabari, Ibn Al Jawzi, Ibn Al-Athir, Ibn Adhari, Ibn Taghribirdi, Al Suyuti). This seismic event reported in historical manuscripts was however considered as dubious by other historians.

Recent field investigations conducted by the National Office of Mines in Tunisia in collaboration with the Institute of Earth Physics of Strasbourg (IPGS), and The National Institute of Heritage in Tunis “unearthed” historical documents that report the earthquake damage in Kairouan and Sousse areas during the 9th century (Bahrouni et al., 2019).

During the AD 859 earthquake the great mosque of Kairouan, the houses, fortifications and bridges suffered severe damage. The historical documents report that during the rule of the local governor Ibrahim Ahmed, important reconstructions and restorations were conducted in the city, the great Mosque in particular, bridges and battlements until Sousse city. Indeed, a poster exposed into the mosque courtyard shows the Mosque construction sketches before and after AD 859. The historians also report that the city (which reached about 100 000 inhabitants) suffered of severe water shortage due to the damage that affected the Cherichira aqueduct. Initially built at the Roman time and then retrofitted during the Aghlabids period, the aqueduct used to bring fresh water from the Oueslat Jebel (mountain) to Kairouan. Following the earthquake in AD 860, the Emir Ibrahim Ahmed decided the building of the large circular cistern called Feskiya Bab Tunis (literally the cistern of Tunis door).

This one-day field trip on 29 November 2019 will present the main features, damage and neotectonic observations associated with the AD 859 earthquake in Kairouan and Sousse. The itinerary will include the following stops:

  • 08:00 Departure from the conference hotel in Sousse
  • 10:00 Visit to the aqueduct damaged bridge at the Cherichira site
  • 11:30 Departure to Kairouan
  • 12:00 Visit of open air cistern also called Feskiya of Bab Tunis in Kairouan
  • 12:30 Visit of the Great Mosque: damage disorder and reconstruction work of the year AD 860.
  • 13:15 Lunch in the old city of Kairouan
  • 14:30 Departure to Sousse
  • 15:30 Visit of the still visible stone engraving (in Arabic Koufi writing style) that commemorates the reconstruction of the southern wall of the battlements of Sousse and related fortifications in AD 859-860.
  • 16:00 Visit of the old city Kasba
  • 17:00 Departure to the conference hotel in Sousse
  • 19:00 Dinner at the hotel

Field Trip 3

Thrust belt systems of northern Africa - Petroleum implications

29 November - 02 December 2019

Participation Fee:

550 Euros (student)
650 Euros (academic)
750 Euros (professional)


Sami Khomsi, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Chokri El Maherssi, Exploration & Production Manager, NUMHYD a.r.l., Tunisia
François Roure, IFP – Energies Nouvelles, France
Mannoubi Khelil, FST, University Tunis El Manar, Tunisia

This field trip is supported by The International Lithosphere Program ( ILP).

This field trip is intended to underline the major structural domains of the Atlas and Tell fold and thrust belt structures from the eastern foreland domains in Hammamet, throughout the Zeghouane thrust system of the Atlas to the Medjerda Valley-Tell domains of the eastern portion of the Maghrebides. This will allow an overall structural view of the fold and thrust belts of eastern Maghreb, with observations of major significative structures. A summary transect will be performed, highlighting the structural styles and major regional structures with particular interest for future developments in oil/gas exploration. This field trip welcomes senior and early-career scientists from all fields of geosciences. The field trip guidebook will be available for download in Summer 2019.  The itinerary includes the following stops:

Day 1 (28 November 2019)

  • 18:00 Meeting with the field-trip leaders in the conference hotel in Sousse
  • 19:00 Dinner in the conference hotel

Day 2 (29 November 2019): Foreland domain of the Atlas and Zeghouane thrust system

  • 07:00 Departure from the conference hotel
  • 08:00 Major unconformities/structural styles and reservoir fracturation in the foreland domain of Enfidha/Bouficha
  • 11:00 Major thrust system of Zeghouane in the Fkirine/Ben Saidane mountains
  • 12:30 Field lunch at 1295 m a.s.l. in Zeghouane mountain
  • 13:30 Major thrust system of Zeghouane (salt tectonics/thrusting of the Atlas belt, structural style and seismic/structural cross sections, oil occurrence)
  • 15:30 Departure to Ain Draham on the highway with a general view to the Medjerda valley
  • 19:00 Arrival at Ain Draham and overnight stay at the cosy hotel of Royal Rihana

Day 3 (30 November 2019): Foreland domain of the Tell and Kasseb overthrust key area

  • 08:00 Departure from Ain Draham hotel
  • 09:00 Tectonic contact of Kasseb Unit overhanging the foreland of the Tell in Kasseb/Jebel Sabbah
  • 10:30 Miocene unconformities on the autochthonous series and Numidian contact in Jebel Ben Amara/Kef Ettayeh
  • 12:00 Tectonic imbricate, oil seeps and seismic interpretations at Kasseb Dam
  • 13:30 Field lunch at the beautiful Kasseb lake/syncline
  • 15:00 Numidian contacts at Ain Bida (white spring)
  • 16:00 Discussion (seismic sections/structural cross sections)
  • 17:30 Return to Ain Draham hotel
  • 19:00 Dinner in the hotel
  • 20:00 Workshop/Lectures on oil exploration in the Tell (regional transects from the Tell to the Pelagian structures) and future research directions on the Maghreb Tell

Day 4 (01 December 2019): Transition between the Tell thrust belt and Medjerda valley

  • 08:00 Checkout and departure from Ain Draham hotel
  • 09:30 Salt tectonics in the late Miocene series of Medjerda/thrust tectonics/seismic sections in Jebel Rebia
  • 11:30 Guided visit of the beautiful archaeological Roman city of Bulla Regia
  • 13:30 Field lunch before departure to Tunis
  • 17:00 Arrival to Tunis hotel and dinner in La Goulette, the port of Tunis, with its fish restaurants and Kasbah fortress built in 1535 by Charles I of Spain

Day 5 (02 December 2019)

  • 08:00 Breakfast and checkout from Tunis hotel
  • 09:30 Departure to Tunis-Carthage airport