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The North of Algeria consists of young reliefs, modelled during the Tertiary by the alpine movements. It is delimited in the south, by the Saharian Atlas (alpine chain) and in the center, by platforms (Oran Meseta in the west and of Aïn Regada mole in the east). In the septentrional part, the Tell Atlas (Jurassic in Miocène) is a complex zone made up of layers put in place in the lower part of the Miocène. Late Neocene basins, like Chélif and Hodna, were installed on these layers. The continental shelf is reduced; tertiary and quaternary deposits (1 000 to 3 500m) resting on a metamorphic base.

The Saharan platform belongs to North African Craton. It consists of a Precambrian base covered in discordance by a powerful phanerozoïc transgressive sedimentary cover, structured with Paleozoic in several basins separated by high zones (Basins of Tindouf, Reggane, Bechar, etc).

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