Evidences of NW extension of the North Anatolian Fault Zone in Marmara Sea; a new approach to the 17th August 1999 Marmara Sea Earthquake


GEO-MARINE LETTERS, vol.21, pp.183-199, 2002 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Journal Name: GEO-MARINE LETTERS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.183-199


Active faults aligning in NW–SE direction and forming flower structures of strike-slip faults were observed in shallow seismic data from the shelf offshore of Avcılar in the northern Marmara Sea. By following the parallel drainage pattern and scarps, these faults were traced as NW–SE-directed lineaments in the morphology of the northern onshore sector of the Marmara Sea (eastern Thrace Peninsula). Right-lateral displacements in two watersheds of drainage and on the coast of the Marmara Sea and Black Sea are associated with these lineaments. This right-lateral displacement along the course of these faults suggests a new, active strike-slip fault zone located at the NW extension of the northern boundary fault of the Çınarcık Basin in the Marmara Sea. This new fault zone is interpreted as the NW extension of the northern branch of the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ), extending from the Çınarcık Basin of the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea coast of the Thrace Peninsula, and passing through B üy ük çekmece and K ü ç ük çekmece lagoons. These data suggest that the rupture of the 17 August 1999 earthquake in the NAFZ may have extended through Avcılar. Indeed, Avcılar and İzmit, both located on the Marmara Sea coast along the rupture route, were strongly struck by the earthquake whereas the settlements between Avcılar and İzmit were much less affected. Therefore, this interpretation can explain the extraordinary damage in Avcılar, based on the newly discovered rupture of the NAFZ in the Marmara Sea. However, this suggestion needs to be confirmed by further seismological studies