Field Trips

Immediately after the conference, two field trips to discover some of the geological wonders of southern and northern Tunisia are planned, offering the attendees the chance to explore the geology of Tunisia.

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

Notes on field trip(s):

  • Field-trip guide(s) will be available in July 2020.
  • Online registration for the field trip(s) will open on 10 September 2020 (see Registration).
  • Registration will remain open until the field trip(s) 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 10 October 2020.
  • All payments must be made by bank transfer to the account on the registration confirmation form.
  • If you prefer to pay cash on-site, please send a scanned copy of your airline ticket before 10 October 2020.
  • CAJG field trip(s) do not involve extended walking.
  • We recommend registering as soon as possible since field trips fill up fast.
  • Once 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 10 October 2020, we will refund you at the conference registration desk.
  • If a field trip is cancelled, we will refund 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 stays 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 trip after the registration deadline of 10 October 2020.
  • 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

Gondwanian and Tethyan Tectono-Sedimentary Cycles of Saharan Domain (Southern Tunisia) Evidence of Plate Tectonics, Impact of Global Sea-level/Climate Changes on Basin Development and Petroleum Habitats

05–10 November 2020


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

Participation Fee:

700 Euros (student)
800 Euros (academic)
900 Euros (professional)

The four-day field trip will take place in the beautiful setting of the Saharan platform of southern Tunisia. The selected outcrops visited constitute a representative window allowing review of the buried Paleozoic Gandwanian and Mesozoic Tethyan Tectono-sedimentary megacycles (Ghadames, Jeffara and the Chotts Basins). The complex uplift zone of Telemzane and the Jeffara fault system will be presented in connection with the development of these basins and their associated petroleum habitats.

In the program, we will:

  • Examine the Permian mixed reefal carbonates and sandstone outcropping at Jebel Tebaga of Medenine (Unique outcrops of marine Permian rocks of North Africa) and the "Trias Argilo-Gréseux Inférieur" (TAGI) of Jebel Rehach which are analogs of hydrocarbon sandstone reservoirs in southern Tunisia and Algeria.
  • Discuss the effects of the interplay between tectonics and sea-level changes in the Paleozoic-Mesozoic basins and the associated sedimentary cycle development (Permo-Triassic rifting and Break-up of Pangea, Tethyan Jurassic-Cretaceous post rift sequences).
  • Observe and discuss, using modern sequence stratigraphic concepts, the significance of the main carbonate episodes of the Mesozoic of the Saharan platform whose development perfectly coincides with the major second-order eustatic pulses of the Haq chart (2014).

Beautiful sites where minerals, fossils, as well as the remains and tracks of Jurassic or Cretaceous dinosaurs are visible, will be visited. 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 2020. The itinerary includes the following stops.


Day 1 (05 November 2020): Departure from Sousse conference hotel

  • 13:00 Departure after lunch from Sousse to Matmata (free-of-charge transportation – 350 km)
  • 18:00 Check into Matmata “Berber Hotel”
  • 19:00 Dinner and meeting of the participants with the field trip co-leaders

Day 2 (06 November 2020): Permian/Triassic stratigraphy, sedimentology and tectonics/petroleum interest

  • 07:00 Breakfast, checkout and departure from Matmata hotel
    • Stop 1: Troghlodhyte - Lœss of Matmata
    • Stop 2: Matmata High
    • Stop 3: Dahar cliff - Jeffara escarpment
  • 10:00 Coffee break in the Old City of Toujane “Berber village” (History of Berber civilization)
    • Stop 4: Jebal Tebaga of Medenine
      Permian barrier reef bodies: Distribution and architecture
    • Stop 5: Merbah el Oussif
      Reefs and associated coastal marine sandstones
      Regional paleogeographic reconstruction (Platform to basin transition)
    • Stop 6: Halk Jmel
      Late Permian Cheguimi carbonates and sandstones
      Permian-Triassic transition (Red claystones)
      Late Albian-Permo-Triassic unconformity
  • 13:00 Lunch in the field (Halk Jmal locality)
    • Stop 7: Hmaima Kbira
      Early-Middle Triassic sandstones/ Analog of Ghadames Basin TAGI Reservoir
    • Stop 8: Sidi Stout
      Triassic Syn-rift tectonic features, paleotectonics
      Pinching out of post-rift Jurassic deposits
    • Stop 9: Ksar Jdid
      Surface-Subsurface correlation
      Permian carbonate reefs play in the adjacent basins
  • 16:00 Coffee break
  • 18:00 Arrival at Tataouine “Sangho Hotel”
  • 19:00 Dinner
  • 20:00 Round table discussion:
    • Gondwanian Megacycle of the Ghadames Basin and associated petroleum systems
    • Plate-tectonics and Sea-level fluctuations/ Ordovician Glaciation
  • 21:30 Local traditional musical party

Day 3 (07 November 2020): Triassic-Jurassic Tethyan Cycle

  • 08:00 Departure from the hotel after breakfast
    • Stop 10: J. Rehach
      General presentation of J. Rehach / Triassic stratigraphy (Germanic character)
  • 10:30 Coffee break in the “Moon Landscape”, a filming location of “Star Wars” movie
    • Stop 11: Rehach-Ksar el Ain main road
      Early-Middle Triassic Kirchaou sandstones: Analog of Ghadames Basin Top TAGI Reservoir
    • Stop 12: Kef Touareg
      Carnian Strato-type section: TAGI-TAC transition
      Mekraneb dolomites. Major transgressive event
      Top-Mekraneb dolomites: Vertebrate rest fossils and dinosaurs’ tracks
      Touareg sandstones (Analog of the Alpha reservoir of El Borma oil field)
  • 13:00 Lunch in the field
    • Stop 13: J. Rehach (Quarries on the road to Ksar M’Hira)
      Rehach shallow-marine carbonates Fm (Azizia Equivalent)
      Maximum sea level rise
    • Stop 14: Ksar Mhira
      Norian-Rhetian evaporites and red clay deposits
      Tunisia vs Libya Triassic stratigraphic nomenclature
      Southern Tethyan margin: Paleogeography and paleotectonics
    • Stop 15: Zmilet Haber
      Zmilet Haber limestones (B Horizon of petroleum geologists/ major sea-level rise).
      First major flooding of the Sahara during Jurassic
    • Stop 16: Oued el Mestawa
      Liassic Tataouine Evaporitic Basin
      Sea-level fall and climate change
  • 16:00 Coffee break in Ksour Djelidat and visit to the ancient building
    • Stop 17: Ksour Djelidat
      Bajocian Carbonate / Evaporites transgressive and Bathonian Siliciclastic fluvial to deltaic regressive sequences
  • 18:00 Arrival to Tataouine “Sangho Hotel”
  • 19:00 Dinner

Day 4 (08 November 2020): Jurassic-Cretaceous tectono-stratigraphic cycles

  • 8:00 Departure from the hotel after breakfast
  • 8:30 Visit of Tataouine Museum “Memory of the Earth”
    • Stop 18: Ain Recifat Callovian Ghomrassene dolomitic bar / Diagensis and reservoir potential
    • Stop 19: Dakyanous / El Farch Callovian Ghomrassene preserved limestones / Coral and sponges in life position
    • Stop 20: Ghomrassen village entrance Internal architecture of the Callovian Ghomrassen carbonate unit
    • Stop 21: Old city of Ghomrassène (Ain Sefri) Prehistoric shelters (Aïn Sefri)/ Engravings and Neolithic civilization
  • 10:30 Coffee break in Ksar Haddada at the filming location of “Star Wars” movie
    • Stop 22: Beni Ghdir (Callovian)
      Transgressive-regressive Callovian sequences
      Dinosaur foot prints / Ghomrassen member
  • 13:00 Lunch in “Relax Coffee Lounge”
    • Stop 23: Merbah el Asfer
      Jurassic-Cretaceous (transition)
      Filling up of the basin, continental series, well preserved Fern flora
    • Stop 24: Chenini
      Landscape (Dahar plateau and Albian unconformity)
      Berber archeological site of Chenini (Troglodyte)
  • 18:00 Arrival to “Sangho Hotel”
  • 19:00 Dinner

Day 5 (09 November 2020): Last day and departure from southern Tunisia

  • 07:00 Breakfast and checkout from “Sango Hotel”
    • Stop 25: Oued Zaafrane
      Reefs vs skeletal mud-mounds of Callovian Ghomrassen member
    • Stop 26: “Col de Bir Miteur”
      Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous siliciclastic deposits
      Analog of M’Rabtine hydrocarbon reservoir of Ezzaouia field (Gulf of Gabes)
    • Stop 27: Kef el Aneba (Landscape: Dahar-Jeffara)
      The Jeffara fault system inherited active fault
      Jurassic succession of Tataouine basin margin (Medenine paleohigh)
      Jurassic-Petroleum play of the Chotts basin
    • Stop 28: J. Tajera (Medenine)
      Late Triassic/ Jurassic unconformity
      Triassic (Ladinian) red beds succession and associated fossils: Fresh water Conchostracan fauna, marine and brackish arthropods/ Horseshoe crabs (Limulitella tejraensis), tetrapod tracks.
      Paleobiogeography / Tunisia as part of North Africa is a bridge for fauna migration between South America/Africa and Europe
  • 10:00 Coffee break in Mareth (small town) and visit to the museum of 2nd World War “Mareth line”
  • 10:30 Departure to Sfax city (200 km)
  • 12:30 Guided tour in Sfax (founded in AD850 on the ruins of Taparura) during the Arab invasion
  • 13:00 Lunch in the old city of Sfax at “Shams Boudaya”
  • 14:30 Departure from Sfax to El Jem (70 km)
  • 15:30 Visit of the impressive Roman amphitheater, the largest coliseum in N. Africa illustrating the grandeur of Imperial Rome
  • 16:00 Departure to Tunis (200 km)
  • 18:00 Arrival at Tunis Carthage Airport or overnight stay at “Africa Hotel” in Tunis

Day 6 (10 November 2020): Departure of international participants from Tunisia

  • 07:00 Breakfast at “Africa Hotel” and departure from Tunis Carthage Airport


Field Trip 2

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

06 November 2020

Participation Fee:

100 Euros (student)
120 Euros (academic)
150 Euros (professional)


Néjib Bahrouni, The National Office of Mines, Tunis, Tunisia
Mustapha Meghraoui, Institut de Physique du Globe Strasbourg, France

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 bounded 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 which was responsible for numerous victims, extensive homelessness, affecting the great mosque and destroying 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, on the great Mosque in particular, as well as on bridges and battlements as far as Sousse city. Indeed, a poster in the mosque courtyard shows sketches of the Mosque construction before and after AD 859. The historians also report that the city (which had about 100 000 inhabitants at its peak) suffered severe water shortage due to the damage affecting the Cherichira aqueduct. Initially built during Roman times 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 to build a large circular cistern called Feskiya Bab Tunis (literally the cistern of Tunis door).

This one-day field trip on 06 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 the open-air cistern also called Feskiya of Bab Tunis in Kairouan
  • 12:30 Visit of the Great Mosque: damage disorder and reconstruction work in the year AD 860.
  • 13:30 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