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 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00367-007-0099-6
  • Title of Journal : GEO-MARINE LETTERS
  • Page Numbers: pp.171-193


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.