Use of the ESI-2007 scale to evaluate the 2003 Boumerdès earthquake (North Algeria)

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Aicha Heddar
Hamoud Beldjoudi
Christine Authemayou
Roza SiBachir
Abdelkrim Yelles-Chaouche
Azzedine Boudiaf


In this study, we applied the environmental seismic intensity (ESI-2007) scale to a major recent Algerian earthquake. The ESI-2007 scale is an effective tool to assess the seismic hazard and has been applied to onshore earthquakes. Here we applied the scale to a recent earthquake (Mw 6.8, 2003) that took place offshore in the province of Boumerdès in the north of Algeria along the boundary between African and Eurasian plates. The main shock was associated to an unknown submarine structure. No surface ruptures were observed on the onshore domain, but many earthquake environmental effects (EEEs) were reported during several field investigations. In addition to onshore ground effects, this event triggered turbidity currents responsible for 29 submarine cable breaks. Mapping and describing coseismic ground effects allowed us to distinguish primary and secondary effects like coastal uplifts, liquefaction phenomena, tsunami waves, turbidity currents, cracks, rock falls, slope movements and hydrological anomalies. Considering the total area affected and the distribution of ground effects, we suggest intensity X that appears in agreement with intensity calculated in previous study with the EMS-98 scale. Thus, this method is validated even in the case of a coastal earthquake, and could be applied in the future to Algerian historical earthquakes that have affected scarcely inhabited zones but where EEEs were listed and located.

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How to Cite
Heddar, A., Beldjoudi, H., Authemayou, C., SiBachir, R., Yelles-Chaouche, A. and Boudiaf, A. (2016) “Use of the ESI-2007 scale to evaluate the 2003 Boumerdès earthquake (North Algeria)”, Annals of Geophysics, 59(2), p. S0211. doi: 10.4401/ag-6926.