The Atlas mountains of Tunisia have undergone a long and slow evolution. East-west trending structures were developed during Mesozoic deformation. Tertiary (pre-Burdigalian) movements heralded the major Plio-Pleistocene diastrophism, which continued until the end of the Pleistocene and produced folds with northeast-southwest trending axes. In recent Quaternary times, isostatic readjustment has produced depressions, both parallel and at right angles, which are superposed on the old fractures of the basement complex.

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