Faulting, mass-wasting and deposition in an active dextral shear zone, the Gulf of Saros and the NE Aegean Sea, NW Turkey

USTAÖMER T., Gokasan E., Tur H., Gorum T., Batuk F. G., Kalafat D., ...More

GEO-MARINE LETTERS, vol.28, no.3, pp.171-193, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00367-007-0099-6
  • Journal Name: GEO-MARINE LETTERS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.171-193
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Structural, mass-wasting and sedimentation processes along an active dextral shear zone beneath the Gulf of Saros and the NE Aegean Sea were investigated on the basis of new high-resolution swath bathymetric data and multi-channel seismics. A long history of dextral shearing operating since the Pliocene culminated in the formation of a NE-SW-trending, ca. 800-m-deep basin (the so-called inner basin) in this region, which is bordered by a broad shelf along its northern and eastern sides and a narrow shelf at the southern side. The western extension of the North Anatolian Fault Zone (the Ganos Fault) cuts the eastern shelf along a narrow deformation zone, and ends sharply at the toe of the slope, where the strain is taken up by two NE-SW-oriented fault zones. These two fault zones cut the basin floor along its central axis and generate a new, Riedel-type pull-apart basin (the so-called inner depression). According to the bathymetric and seismic data, these basin boundary fault zones are very recent features. The northern boundary of the inner depression is a through-going fault comprising several NE-SW- and E-W-oriented, overlapping fault segments. The southern boundary fault zone, on the other hand, consists of spectacular en-echelon fault systems aligned in NE-SW and WNW-ESE directions. These en-echelon faults accommodate both dextral and vertical motions, thereby generating block rotations along their horizontal axis. As the basin margins retreat, the basin widens continuously by mass-wasting of the slopes of the inner basin. The mass-wasting, triggered by active tectonics, occurs by intense landsliding and channel erosion. The eroded material is transported into the deep basin, where it is deposited in a series of deep-sea fans and slumps. The high sedimentation rate is reflected in an over 1,500-m-thick basin fill which has accumulated in Pliocene-Quaternary times.