Shallow seismic profiles are used to image the tectonic and stratigraphic setting in Izmit Bay, eastern Marmara Sea. Four seismic units were detected in the sediments of Izmit Bay, which carry the effects of the tectonic uplift and global sea-level variations. The area appears to be a negative flower structure controlled by the northern branch of the North Anatolian Fault. In the late Pliocene the North Anatolian Fault reached Marmara Sea as a master fault. Smallscale faults were evolved around the master fault under a regime of dextral shear. The northward bending of the master fault gave rise to en-echelon faults, opening the sub-basins in Izmit Bay as releasing bends. The secondary faults which developed as low-angle oblique to the master fault are also the products of dextral shear. To the south, short dextral ENE-WSW trending faults are interpreted as "P"-shears, while to the north, dextral WNW-ESE trending faults represents 'R'-shears. These faults absorbed the deformation at the western end of the ruptured zone during the Izmit Earthquake (August 17, 1999), causing the migration of failure stress westward. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.