Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Geosciences (PhD)

Degree Level





Thomas R. Paradise

Committee Member

Fiona Davidson

Second Committee Member

Jason A. Tullis


Earthquakes, Seismic History, Seismogenic Features, Risk Perception, Libya, Seismic Risk, Earthquake Archive, Geomorphic Analysis, Disaster Preparedness, Awareness


Libya is not considered a highly active seismic region. However, several earthquakes of magnitude >5.0 have occurred there. This dissertation analyzes the seismicity of Libya in order to better understand earthquake hazards, related geomorphic features, and the current evolution of Libyan perceptions of seismic risk. The first article developed a baseline of past and current seismic inventory in Libya, which represented an assessment of Libya seismic hazard by translating, analyzing, and compiling historical sources and archaeological data. This study shows that Libya has experienced earthquakes in varying degrees since ancient times. Through the spatial and temporal distribution of earthquakes from 1900-2019 strongly suggest Libya can be divided into three seismologically active regions. The second article uses remotely-sensing images to identify seismogenic surface features in different locations in the country. Different geomorphic features are identified and classified through multi-scalar techniques and represent the crucial procedure in identifying potentially hazards seismogenic features. The final article uses the administration of survey instruments to assess post- and pre-event perception of seismic hazard and risk in Al-Marj – a city razed in the 1963 earthquake. Demographic, educational, economic, hazard, and vulnerability questions in addition to Likert-scaled responses are used. This study finds that the correlations between demographics and Likert style responses revealed the differences in perceptions between age, education, technology, and gender categories, in addition to the general lack of belief in the use of seismic predicting. When natural hazards in Libya like earthquake recurrence are better understood, then the potential consequences of injury, damages, and deaths may be assessed, and an overall plan to decrease risk can be created and implemented.