Paleoseismology of the North Anatolian Fault at Guzelkoy (Ganos segment, Turkey): Size and recurrence time of earthquake ruptures west of the Sea of Marmara

Meghraoui M., AKSOY M. E., Akyüz H. S., FERRY M., DIKBAS A., ALTUNEL E.

GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS, vol.13, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1029/2011gc003960
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: 1912 Murefte earthquake, Ganos fault segment, Marmara, North Anatolian Fault, paleoseismology, 1999 IZMIT EARTHQUAKE, RADIOCARBON AGE CALIBRATION, SURFACE RUPTURE, SEISMIC HAZARD, SLIP DISTRIBUTION, VALLEY SEGMENT, NW TURKEY, CAL BP, KINEMATICS, SAROS
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Ganos fault is the westernmost segment of the North Anatolian Fault that experienced the Mw = 7.4 earthquake of 9 August 1912. The earthquake revealed 45-km-long of surface ruptures inland, trending N70 degrees E, and 5.5 m of maximum right lateral offset near Guzelkoy. The long-term deformation of the fault is clearly expressed by several pull-apart basins and sag ponds, pressure and shutter ridges and offset streams. In parallel with detailed geomorphologic investigations, we measured co-seismic and cumulative displacements along the fault, and selected the Guzelkoy site for paleoseismology. A microtopographic survey at the site yields 10.5 +/- 0.5 m and 35.4 +/- 1.5 m cumulative lateral offsets of stream channels and geomorphologic features. Seven paleoseismic parallel and cross-fault trenches document successive faulting events and provide the timing of past earthquakes on the Ganos fault segment. Radiocarbon dating of successive colluvial wedges in trench T1, and the fresh scarplet above (probably 1912 surface rupture) indicate the occurrence of three faulting events since the 14th century. Parallel trenches (3, 5, 6 and 7) expose paleo-channels and show a cumulative right-lateral offset of 16.5 +/- 1.5 m next to the fault, and 21.3 +/- 1.5 m total channel deflection. Radiocarbon dating of past channel units and fault scarp-related colluvial deposits imply an average 17 +/- 5 mm/year slip rate and 323 +/- 142 years recurrence interval of large earthquakes during the last 1000 years on the Ganos fault. The succession of past faulting events and inferred slip rate west of the Marmara Sea provide more constraint on the long-term faulting behavior in the seismic gap of the North Anatolian Fault and may contribute to a better seismic hazard assessment in the Istanbul region.