A 3800 yr paleoseismic record (Lake Hazar sediments, eastern Turkey): Implications for the East Anatolian Fault seismic cycle

Hubert-Ferrari A., Lamair L., Hage S., Schmidt S., Çağatay M. N., AVŞAR U.

EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, vol.538, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 538
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116152
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, Chemical Abstracts Core, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


The East Anatolian Fault (EAF) in Turkey is a major active left-lateral strike-slip fault that was seismically active during the 19th century but mostly quiet during the 20th century. Geodetic data suggests that the fault is creeping along its central part. Here we focus on its seismic history as recorded in the sediments of Lake Hazar in the central part of the EAF. Sediment cores were studied using X-ray imagery, magnetic susceptibility, grain-size, loss-on-ignition and X-ray fluorescence measurements. Recurring thin, coarse-grained sediment units identified as turbidites in all cores were deposited synchronously at two deep study sites. The turbidite ages are inferred combining radiocarbon and radionuclide (Cs-137 and Pb-210) dating in an Oxcal model. A mean recurrence interval of similar to 190 yrs is obtained over 3800 yrs. Ages of the recent turbidites correspond to historical earthquakes reported to have occurred along the EAF Zone or to paleoruptures documented in trenches just northeast of Lake Hazar. The turbidites are inferred to be earthquake-triggered. Our record demonstrates that Lake Hazar has been repeatedly subjected to significant seismic shaking over the past 3800 yrs. The seismic sources are variable: similar to 65% of all turbidites are associated with an EAF source. The seismic cycle of central EAF is thus only partly impacted by creep. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.