An aseismic slip transient on the North Anatolian Fault

Rousset B., JOLIVET R., Simons M., LASSERRE C., Riel B., Milillo P., ...More

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, vol.43, no.7, pp.3254-3262, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/2016gl068250
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3254-3262
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Constellations of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites with short repeat time acquisitions allow exploration of active faults behavior with unprecedented temporal resolution. Along the North Anatolian Fault (NAF) in Turkey, an 80 km long section has been creeping at least since the 1944, M-w 7.3 earthquake near Ismetpasa, with a current Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR)-derived average creep rate of 8 +/- 3 mm/yr (i.e., a third of the NAF long-term slip rate). We use a dense set of SAR images acquired by the COSMO-SkyMed constellation to quantify the spatial distribution and temporal evolution of creep over 1 year. We identify a major burst of aseismic slip spanning 31 days with a maximum slip of 2 cm, between the surface and 4 km depth. This result shows that fault creep along this section of the NAF does not occur at a steady rate as previously thought, highlighting a need to revise our understanding of the underlying fault mechanics.