Global Positioning System constraints on plate kinematics and dynamics in the eastern Mediterranean and Caucasus

McClusky S., Balassanian S., Barka A., Demir C., Ergintav S., Georgiev I., ...More

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH, vol.105, pp.5695-5719, 2000 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


We present and interpret Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of crustal motions for the period 1988-1997 at 189 sites extending east-west from the Caucasus mountains to the Adriatic Sea and north-south from the southern edge of the Eurasian plate to the northern edge of the African plate. Sites on the northern Arabian platform move 18 +/- 2 mm/yr at N25 degrees +/- 5 degrees W relative to Eurasia, less than the NUVEL-1A circuit closure rate (25 +/- 1 mm/yr at N21 degrees +/- 7 degrees W). Preliminary motion estimates (1994-1997) for stations located in Egypt on the northeastern part of Africa show northward motion at 5-6 +/- 2 mm/yr, also slower than NUVEL-1A estimates (10 +/- 1 mm/yr at N2 degrees +/- 4 degrees E). Eastern Turkey is characterized by distributed deformation, while central Turkey is characterized by coherent plate motion (internal deformation of <2 mm/yr) involving westward displacement and counterclockwise rotation of the Anatolian plate. The Anatolian plate is de-coupled from Eurasia along the right-lateral, strike-slip North Anatolian fault (NAF). We derive a best fitting Euler vector for Anatolia-Eurasia motion of 30.7 degrees +/- 0.8 degrees N, 32.6 degrees +/- 0.4 degrees E, 1.2 degrees +/- 0.1 degrees/Myr. The Euler vector gives an upper bound for NAF slip rate of 24 +/- 1 mm/yr. We determine a preliminary GPS Arabia-Anatolia Euler vector of 32.9 degrees +/- 1.2 degrees N, 40.3 degrees +/- 1.1 degrees E, 0.8 degrees +/- 0.2 degrees/Myr and an upper bound on left-lateral slip on the East Anatolian fault (EAF) of 9 +/- 1 mm/yr. The central, and southern Aegean is characterized by coherent motion (internal deformation of <2 mm/yr) toward the SW at 30 +/- 1 mm/yr relative to Eurasia. Stations in the SE aegean deviate significantly from the overall motion of the southern Aegean, showing increasing velocities toward the trench and reaching 10 +/- 1 mm/yr relative to the southern Aegean as a whole.