Turbidites and their association with past earthquakes in the deep Cinarcik Basin of the Marmara Sea

Sari E., Cagatay M. N.

GEO-MARINE LETTERS, vol.26, no.2, pp.69-76, 2006 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00367-006-0017-3
  • Title of Journal : GEO-MARINE LETTERS
  • Page Numbers: pp.69-76


Two gravity cores (CAG-3 and C-15) from the tectonically active, 1,276-m deep Cinarcik Basin of the Marmara Sea each include three sandy turbiditic mud units (1 mm-2 cm thick) with sharp basal contacts. The high benthic foraminifer content of these units suggests that the sediments were transported by turbidity currents from the upper slope region. These units represent the thin edges of turbidites thickening towards the subsiding north-eastern part of the basin, and contain quartz, detrital calcite, intact shells and shell fragments, smectite, pyrite framboids, muscovite, biotite, epidote and garnet. Their clay fractions are more enriched in smectite than those of adjacent layers. AMS 14C ages (957 +/- 43 (A.D.) and 578 +/- 31 (A.D.)) of two upper and middle turbiditic units in core C15 overlap with the historical Istanbul-Thrace (intensity=10) and Istanbul-Kocaeli (intensity=9) earthquakes of 26 October 986 and 15 August 553, respectively. This overlap, together with sedimentological characteristics, strongly suggests that the turbiditic units are related to the tectono-seismic activity of the North Anatolian Fault. The age of the lowest turbiditic unit in core C-3 was found to be 6,573 +/- 87 a (B.P.) (calendar) by AMS 14 C. In terms of chronostratigraphic relationships and lithological composition, the turbiditic units in core CAG-3 cannot be correlated with those in C15. This can be explained by gravity-controlled sedimentation causing wedging out of turbidites towards the edge of the basin.