Geophysical Images of the North Anatolian Fault Zone in the Erzincan Basin, Eastern Turkey, and their Tectonic Implications

Avsar Ü. , Turkoglu E., Unsworth M., Caglar I., KAYPAK B.

PURE AND APPLIED GEOPHYSICS, vol.170, no.3, pp.409-431, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 170 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00024-012-0521-5
  • Page Numbers: pp.409-431


The collision between the Arabian and Eurasian plates in eastern Turkey causes the Anatolian block to move westward. The North Anatolian Fault (NAF) is a major strike-slip fault that forms the northern boundary of the Anatolian block, and the Erzincan Basin is the largest sedimentary basin on the NAF. In the last century, two large earthquakes have ruptured the NAF within the Erzincan Basin and caused major damage (M-s = 8.0 in 1939 and M-s = 6.8 in 1992). The seismic hazard in Erzincan from future earthquakes on the NAF is significant because the unconsolidated sedimentary basin can amplify the ground motion during an earthquake. The amount of amplification depends on the thickness and geometry of the basin. Geophysical constraints can be used to image basin depth and predict the amount of seismic amplification. In this study, the basin geometry and fault zone structure were investigated using broadband magnetotelluric (MT) data collected on two profiles crossing the Erzincan Basin. A total of 24 broadband MT stations were acquired with 1-2 km spacing in 2005. Inversion of the MT data with 1D, 2D and 3D algorithms showed that the maximum thickness of the unconsolidated sediments is similar to 3 km in the Erzincan Basin. The MT resistivity models show that the northern flanks of the basin have a steeper dip than the southern flanks, and the basin deepens towards the east where it has a depth of 3.5 km. The MT models also show that the structure of the NAF may vary from east to west along the Erzincan Basin.