The 23 February 2020 Qotur-Ravian earthquake doublet at the Iranian-Turkish border: Seismological and InSAR evidence for escape tectonics

Taymaz T., Ganas A., Berberian M., Eken T., IRMAK T. S., Kapetanidis V., ...More

Tectonophysics, vol.838, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 838
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.tecto.2022.229482
  • Journal Name: Tectonophysics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Active tectonics, Continental strike-slip faulting, Earthquake source mechanisms, East Anatolia and NW Iran, Slip history, Satellite geodesy
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 Elsevier B.V.We present the source mechanisms and rupture processes for the damaging 23 February 2020 earthquake doublet of Mw 5.8 and Mw 5.9 that occurred near the Turkish-Iranian border regions of Qotur-Goharan-Mir'Omar-Ravian (NW Iran), extending towards Saray and Başkale (Eastern Turkey), as obtained from seismological waveform analysis and space geodesy imaging. Seismotectonic characteristics of the sequence highlight the role of indentation tectonics developed within regional-scale compressional environment where the Arabian microplate collides with the Eurasian plate. Here we report optimal finite-fault slip distribution patterns of the 2020 Qotur-Ravian earthquake doublet revealing complex co-seismic rupture propagation along the fault planes with maximum displacements ranging from 20 to 50 cm, stretching from the hypocentre to the surface. Analysis of aftershocks based on 3.5 months-long seismicity confirms distributed deformation. This energetic earthquake sequence demonstrates the distinct rupture characteristics illuminating differences in seismogenic properties and seismic hazard. Coulomb stress transfer modelling predicts triggering of the second event of Mw 5.9 by the first event of Mw 5.8. The zone of Coulomb stress changes attributed to varying pore pressure linking to geothermal water resources in the region as a driving force, may have an impact on the nucleation of triggered faulting. Evaluation of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data reveals the activated faults with evident co-seismic slip. Specifically, (1) we detected a rare case in earthquake-induced ground deformation where there is overlapping surface deformation due to sequential shallow events located closely in the crust, (2) the initial event ruptured a normal fault located towards W-NW of the latter inferred strike-slip fault and (3) the conjugate system of faults is closely placed at a few km apart. The frequent Sentinel-1 interferograms enhanced our imaging abilities of geometry and kinematics of shallow moderate-size M < 6.0 earthquakes and to trace seismogenic structures in remote and mountainous earthquake prone regions.