An earthquake gap south of Istanbul

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Bohnhoff M., BULUT F., DRESEN G., MALIN P. E., Eken T., Aktar M.

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, vol.4, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/ncomms2999
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Over the last century the North Anatolian Fault Zone in Turkey has produced a remarkable sequence of large earthquakes. These events have now left an earthquake gap south of Istanbul and beneath the Marmara Sea, a gap that has not been filled for 250 years. Here we investigate the nature of the eastern end of this gap using microearthquakes recorded by seismographs primarily on the Princes Islands offshore Istanbul. This segment lies at the western terminus of the 1999 Mw7.4 Izmit earthquake. Starting from there, we identify a 30-km-long fault patch that is entirely aseismic down to a depth of 10 km. Our evidence indicates that this patch is locked and is therefore a potential nucleation point for another Marmara segment earthquake-a potential that has significant natural hazards implications for the roughly 13 million Istanbul residents immediately to its north.