Sedimentary record of coseismic subsidence in Hersek coastal lagoon (Izmit Bay, Turkey) and the late Holocene activity of the North Anatolian Fault

Bertrand S., DONER L., ON S. A., SANCAR Ü. S., SCHUDACK U., MISCHKE S., ...More

GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS, vol.12, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1029/2011gc003511
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The late Holocene activity of a restraining bend of the northern strand of the North Anatolian Fault in Izmit Bay was investigated by a sedimentological, geochemical, and paleoecological analysis of sediment cores from Hersek coastal lagoon, NW Turkey. The sediment cores show a succession of sedimentary sequences composed of three units separated by gradual transitions. The first unit is composed of a thin layer of shell debris-rich sediment in abrupt contact with the underlying organic-rich deposits. This unit is over-lain by a thick foraminifera-rich mud deposit, and the sequences are capped by an organic-rich mud unit. These sequences are interpreted as silting up, shallowing upward deposits, typical of a lagoon becoming isolated from the sea. We suggest that they represent the sedimentary signature of coseismic subsidence, which was caused by reverse slip at the Hersek bend, and tsunamis in Izmit Bay. Our radiocarbon-dated paleoseismological record indicates (1) the atypical collapse of the hanging wall during the 740 earthquake and (2) subsidence of the footwall during the 987, 1509, and 1719 earthquakes. This study contributes to the understanding of the dynamics of restraining bends, and it highlights the potential of coastal sediments for reconstructing past earthquakes and tsunamis in regions dominated by strike-slip deformations.