The effects of the North Anatolian Fault on the geomorphology in the Eastern Marmara Region, Northwestern Turkey

Tarı U. , Tuysuz O.

GEODINAMICA ACTA, vol.28, no.3, pp.139-159, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09853111.2015.1065308
  • Title of Journal : GEODINAMICA ACTA
  • Page Numbers: pp.139-159


North-western Anatolia has been actively deformed since Pliocene by the right-lateral North Anatolian Fault (NAF). This transform fault, which has a transtensional character in its western end due to effects from the Aegean extensional system, is a major control on the regional geomorphologic evolution. This study applied some geomorphic analyses, such as stream longitudinal profiles, stream length-gradient index, ratio of valley floor width and valley height, mountain front sinuosity, hypsometry and asymmetry factor analyses, to an area just east of the Sea of Marmara in order to understand the tectonic effects on the area's geomorphological evolution. The active and fastest northern branch of the NAF lies within a topographic depression connecting Sea of Marmara in the east to the Adapazar Basin in the west. This depression filled with early Pleistocene and younger sediment after a series of pull-apart basins opened along the NAF. North of this depression lies the Kocaeli Peneplain, whose southern edge the NAF uplifted. Meandering streams on the central peneplain were incised possibly due to baselevel changes in the Black Sea. South of the depression, an E-trending mountainous area has a rugged morphology. Based on geomorphic analyses, uplifted Pliocene sediment, marine terraces, and recent earthquake activity, this area between northern and southern branches of the NAF is actively uplifting. The geomorphic indices used in this study are sensitive to vertical movements rather than lateral ones. The bedrock lithology that played an important role on the area's geomorphologic evolution also affects the geomorphic indices used here.