Preliminary structural configuration of the Goubellat Upper
Cretaceous carbonate aquifers using gravity method
Received: 9 October 2017 /Accepted: 17 May 2018
Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018
Gravity method can help locate hidden structural blocks bounded by faults related to the Upper Cretaceous carbonate aquifers of
Goubellat region (Northwestern Tunisia). The Quaternary deposits are present over the majority of the Goubellat plain basin and
cover the Upper Cretaceous carbonate. The produced residual gravity map supported by vertical and tilt angle derivatives was
used to reveal the subsurface structural framework of the study area shaped by uplifted (high gravity anomalies) and downlifted
areas (low gravity anomalies). The horizontal gravity gradient and Euler deconvolution maps were elaborated in order to locate
major faults. These faults are primordial for the subsurface water recharge pathways. Finally, the presented lineament/structural
map is very useful for large-scale structures and lineaments mapping giving the principal keys of the preliminary structural
configuration of the Goubellat Upper Cretaceous carbonate aquifers.
Tunisia is classically subdivided into two major structural do-
mains (Castany 1951; Burollet 1956; Jauzein 1967;Biely
1973). The first one corresponds to the Tellian thrust range
in the north, formed by Mid-Miocene thrust sheets units. The
second domain is the foreland of the Alpine area constitute of
the Imbrications zone and Molasse basin, the Diapir zone, and
the Tunisian Atlas.
Geophysical approaches has been used in various study
cases during the last decade to improve the configuration
and the geometry of aquifers reservoirs of northern Tunisia
(Khomsi et al. 2012; Redhaounia et al. 2015; Redhaounia et
al. 2016; Djebbi and Gabtni 2018).
The Goubellat plain (northeastern portion of the
geologic map of Mejez El Bab 1/50.000, Rabhi et al.,
1999) is situated in the Tunisian Triassic salt province.
This plain is covered by terrains from Cretaceous to
Quaternary. The majority of the Upper Cretaceous carbon-
ate aquifers is covered by Quaternary deposits.
Consequently, we propose to use the gravity method in
order to improve the preliminary structural configuration
of the Goubellat Upper Cretaceous carbonate aquifers and
the determination of the regional faulting network.
The study area is located in the northwestern part of the
Tunisian Alpine Range which constitutes the northeastern
segment of the southwest-northeast-trending Atlas fold-and-
thrust belt. This orogeny is formed as a result of Cenozoic
convergence between the African and Eurasian plates
(Bouaziz et al. 2002), especially in the eastern part of Mejez
El Bab (El Ouardi 2002;Masrouhietal.2014).
The synthetic log (Fig. 3) that describes the geological
deposits of the study area from Cretaceous to Quaternary
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Geology of North Africa
and Mediterranean Regions
* Aymen Nefzi
Laboratoire de Géoressources (LGR), Centre de Recherches et des
Technologies des Eaux (CERTE), BP 273, 8020 Soliman, Tunisia
Arabian Journal of Geosciences (2018) 11:256