Geodetic and seismological investigation of crustal deformation near Izmir (Western Anatolia)

DOĞRU A., Gorgun E. , ÖZENER H., Aktug B.

JOURNAL OF ASIAN EARTH SCIENCES, vol.82, pp.21-31, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 82
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jseaes.2013.12.008
  • Page Numbers: pp.21-31


The Aegean region including western Turkey, mainland Greece, and the Hellenic Arc is the most seismological and geodynamical active domain in the Alpine Himalayan Belt. In this study, we processed 3 years of survey-mode GPS data and present the analysis of a combination of geodetic and seismological data around Izmir, which is the third most populated city in Turkey. The velocities obtained from 15 sites vary between 25 mm/yr and 28 mm/yr relative to the Eurasian plate. The power law exponent of earthquake size distribution (b-value) ranges from 0.8 to 2.8 in the Izmir region between 26.2 degrees E and 27.2 degrees E. The lowest b-value zones are found along Karaburun Fault (b = 0.8) and, between Seferihisar and Tuzla Faults (b = 0.8). A localized stress concentration is expected from numerical models of seismicity along geometrical locked fault patches. Therefore, areas with lowest b-values are considered to be the most likely location for a strong earthquake, a prediction that is confirmed by the 2005 M-w = 5.9 Seferihisar earthquake sequences, with epicentres located to the south of the Karaburun Fault. The north-south extension of the Izmir area is corroborated by extension rates up to 140 nanostrain/yr as obtained from our GPS data. We combined the 3-year GPS velocity field with the published velocity field to determine the strain rate pattern in the area. The spatial distribution of b-value reflects the normal background due to the tectonic framework and is corroborated by the geodetic data. b-Values correlate with strain pattern. This relationship suggests that decrease of b-values signifies accumulating strain. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.