The Arab region extending from Morocco to Iraq has experienced some of the worst earthquake disasters of recent times, yet much is still not understood of its tectonic environment, and its seismological recording network needs much expansion and improvement. The region contains such diverse tectonic regimes as: the continental collision along the Zagros fold and thrust belt in northeast Iraq and along the Rif and Atlas mountain belts of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia; the active sea-floor spreading in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden; and the remarkable structure of the Dead Sea transform fault system. We present a brief summary of the seismotectonics of these areas and their relation to earthquake occurrence.
The seismological recording networks in the different Arab countries are also extremely diverse in quality and distribution of instruments. In some countries, such as Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, and Morocco, seismology is already well established. In others, such as Jordan or Saudi Arabia, there are either isolated stations or plans for a network, while in Libya, Sudan, and Syria there is as yet no seismological recording. We discuss plans for the future development of seismological recording throughout the Arab region.