Creeping along the Ismetpasa section of the North Anatolian fault (Western Turkey): Rate and extent from InSAR


Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol.238, pp.225-234, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Creeping along the North Anatolian fault (NAF) at Ismetpasa (Turkey) was discovered some thirty years ago, about a decade after the first observations of the phenomenon along the San Andreas fault in California. However, little is known about its lateral extent and rate. In order to study its three dimensional nature and rupture characteristics, we use Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) and elastic dislocation models compared also with field observations. Interferograms with temporal baselines ranging between 1.25 and 5 years show that the creeping section starts at the western termination of the 1943 (M = 7.6) earthquake rupture. It continues about 70-km to the west, overlapping with the eastern part of the 1944 (M = 7.3) earthquake rupture. Offsets along strike indicate a maximum creep rate of 11 ± 3 mm/year near the mid point of the creeping section decreasing gradually towards the edges. Near Ismetpasa, InSAR data yield 8 ± 3 mm/year of creep rate, consistent with recent instrumental (triangulation and creepmeter) measurements. Modeling of the InSAR and GPS data suggests that the fault-creep occurs most probably at a shallow depth (0-7 km). Our analysis combined with previous studies suggests that creeping might have commenced following the 1944 earthquake, and thus may be a long-lasting, but transient slip episode. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.