Large Stress Release During Normal-Faulting Earthquakes in Western Turkey Supported by Broadband Ground Motion Simulations

  • Gülüm TanırcanEmail author
  • Hiroe Miyake
  • Hiroaki Yamanaka
  • Oğuz Özel


This article investigates the stress drop variability of shallow normal-faulting earthquakes in western Anatolia through strong-motion simulations. For this purpose, source characteristics of three moderate to large magnitude events are constrained by the empirical Green’s function simulation in a broadband frequency range. Recordings of ten strong-motion stations in 78-km epicentral distance range are utilized for the simulation. Estimated strong-motion generation areas (SMGAs) are 22 km2, 66 km2, and 110 km2 where rise times are 0.6 s, 0.7 s, and 0.6 s, respectively, for the 2011 Simav (Mw 5.8), 2017 Lesvos (Mw 6.3), and 2017 Bodrum-Kos (Mw 6.6) earthquakes. Those values are found to be consistent with global source-scaling relationships. One particular observation is that stress drop ratios between the mainshock and aftershock for all events are relatively large compared with those previously calculated for strike-slip events in Turkey. Stress drops of SMGAs for the Simav and Bodrum earthquakes are in the range of 25 MPa, and this value drops to 19 MPa for the Lesvos earthquake. To further investigate the stress drop variation of earthquakes in Western Anatolia, an earthquake source database (fc-Mo) offered by Yamanaka et al. (IAG-IASPEI 2017, S07-1-03, 2017) is utilized. Brune (Journal of Geophysical Research, 76:5002, 1971) stress drop values of > 360 small to moderate earthquakes (Mw 3.0–6.0) are calculated with the given corner frequency and seismic moment information assuming a constant shear wave velocity. Results indicate that the majority of the earthquakes have a stress drop value < 5 MPa. This value changes to between 5 and 57 MPa for the remaining earthquakes. These high stress drop values support the former findings stating that normal-faulting earthquakes may release higher stress than strike-slip earthquakes. This indicates that the regional stress regime in western Turkey may cause relatively larger stress release during the normal-faulting mainshocks.


Normal faulting ground motion empirical Green’s function method stress drop 



We thank the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) of Turkey for providing the strong-motion data used in the study. Some figures were prepared using the GMT plotting tool of Wessel and Smith (1995). This study is supported by the Joint Research Project under the Bilateral Program of the Japan Society of the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu (TUBITAK 116Y524).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute (KOERI)Bogazici UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Center for Integrated Disaster Information Research, Interfaculty Initiative in Information StudiesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Earthquake Research InstituteThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Architecture and Building EngineeringTokyo Institute of TechnologyYokohamaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Geophysics, Engineering FacultyIstanbul University-CerrahpasaIstanbulTurkey

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