pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 117, Issue 6, pp 1258–1270 | Cite as

Space-time migration of earthquakes along the North Anatolian fault zone and seismic gaps

  • M. N. Toksöz
  • A. F. Shakal
  • A. J. Michael


The North Anatolian fault is a well-defined tectonic feature extending for 1400 km across Northern Turkey. The space-time distribution of seismicity and faulting of this zone has been examined with a particular emphasis on the identification of possible seismic gaps. Results suggest several conclusions with respect to the temporal and spatial distribution of seismicity. First, the earthquake activity appears not to be stationary over time. Periods of high activity in 1850–1900 and 1940 to the present bracket a period of relatively low activity in 1910–39. Second, there appears to have been a two-directional migration of earthquake epicenters away from a central region located at about 39°E longitude. The migration to the west has a higher velocity (>50 km/yr) than the migration to the east (≤10km/yr). The faulting associated with successive earthquakes generally abuts the previous rupture. Some existing gaps were filled by later earthquakes.

At present there are two possible seismic gaps along the North Anatolian fault zone. One is at the western end of the fault, from about 29° to 30°E. Unless this is a region of ongoing aseismic creep, it could be the site of a magnitude 6 or greater earthquake. The other possible gap is at the eastern end, from about 42° to 43°E, to the west of the unexpected M=7.3 event of 24 November 1976.

Key words

Earthquake prediction Seismicity migration Tectonics of Turkey 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. N. Toksöz
  • A. F. Shakal
  • A. J. Michael
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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