Paleotsunami studies for identification of traces of historical tsunamis and their impact levels in Fethiye Bay Rhodes Pass), SW Turkey

ALPAR Ş. B., Altınok Y., Meriç E., Ünlü S., Yaltırak C., Özer N., ...More

33rd International Geological Congress (33IGC), Norway, 1 - 04 August 2008, pp.1341290

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Country: Norway
  • Page Numbers: pp.1341290
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean mainly arise during the earthquakes generated in the Hellenic
arc, and occasionally from volcanic eruptions especially in the Aegean Sea and submarine landslides
along the continental slopes. The tsunami zones in the region can be classified as the eastern Hellenic
arc, offshore Kaþ-Kalkan coastal area, western and eastern parts of the Cyprean arc and Levantine rift
region including Iskenderun Bay. The best known tsunamis in the vicinity of East Hellenic Arc are 222
B.C., 68, 142, 21.07.365, 15.08.554, 08.08.1303, 03.05.1481, 03.10.1481, 1489, 04.1609,
31.01.1741, 28.02.1851, 03.04.1851, 23.05.1851, 13.02.1855, 13.11.1856, 26.06.1926, 09.02.1948,
09.07.1956, 24.03.2002, which had important impacts along the coasts of Rhodes and Dodecanese
islands, Fethiye Bay and environs.
Due to their high landscape, the Mediterranean coasts of Turkey have a low preservation potential for tsunami deposits. The low lying coastal areas, such as the Dalaman and Patara delta beaches across the Rhodes pass, may hide some clues about historical tsunami impacts along these coasts. No Paleotsunami studies for identification of traces of historical tsunamis an... Sayfa 1 / 2
file://H:\33IGC\1341290.html 17.08.2008 systematic studies, however, are available across this range of coastal settings, making an understanding of tsunami impact imprecise. These long beaches are built up by a combination of physical processes, the fluvial and terrigenous input of the rivers and the alongshore wave and current regimes of the sea. It is well known that the city Patara was the largest and most important harbor and played a major role in the ancient Lycian civilization. The harbor was still active as a small estuary
at the end XVth century.
Under the 6th frame EU project, TRANSFER, engine core and trench studies have been performed on
the delta plains at Dalaman, Esenç>ay - Karadere and in a semi-dried lagoon in Patara.
Micropaleontological analyses indicate foraminifera and ostracodes at some coarse grained sand layers
from the Dalaman, Esençay and Patara trenches, representing marine and other environmental
conditions, such as seasonal lakes, channels and rivers which dry in summer and then fill again in
rainy season. The levels with Heteroeypris salina (Brady) observed in Esencay-1 trench show
oligohaline and mesohaline environments, while Ilyoeypris biplieata (Koch) observed above these
levels show recent wetlands developed seasonally or a delta mouth.
Paleo-environmental assessments were also tried to have been elucidated by distinctive
biogeochemical researches on marine-sourced organic matters (e.g. lipid components, sterols and
long chain ketones), geochemical properties (e.g. microbial signatures and algal remains), presence of marine biomarkers (e.g. 24-n-propylcholestane, multibranched acyclic C20 and C25 hydrocarbons) and deterministic ratios (e.g. abundance of S-containing compounds vs. pristane:phytane ratio) using GC/MS and FTIR analyses.