Environmental Geology

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 701–714 | Cite as

Geotechnical mapping for alluvial fan deposits controlled by active faults: a case study in the Erzurum, NE Turkey

  • Necmi Yarbasi
  • Ekrem KalkanEmail author
Original Article


Erzurum, the biggest city of Eastern Anatolia Region in the Turkey, is located in Karasu Plain. Karasu Plain, located on the central segment of the Erzurum Fault Zone, is an intermountain sedimentary basin with a Miocene-Quaternary volcanic basement, andesitic-basaltic lava flows and fissure eruptions of basaltic lava. It was filled in the early Quaternary by lacustrine fan-delta deposits. The basin is characterized by NNE-SSW trending sinistral wrench faults on its eastern margin and ENE-WSW trending reverse faults on its southern margin. Both systems of active faults intersect very near to Erzurum, which is considered to be the most likely site for the epicenter of a probable future large earthquake. Historical records of destructive earthquakes, morphotectonic features formed by paleo-seismic events and instrument seismic data of region indicate to a very high regional seismicity. The residential areas of Erzurum are located on thick alluvial fan deposits forming under the control of faults on the central segment of the Erzurum Fault Zone, which is one of the most active fault belts of the East Anatolian Region. Over time, the housing estates of city such as Yenisehir and Yildizkent have been expanded toward to the west and southwest part of Erzurum as a consequence of rapid and massive construction during the last 30 years. Geotechnical investigation has therefore been undertaken the residential areas of city in order to characterize geotechnical properties over the varied lithologies examine the potential for geotechnical mapping and assess the foundation conditions of the present and future settlement areas. The geological field observations and operations have been performed to make the soil sampling and characterize the lateral and vertical changes in thickness of the alluvial deposits in trenches, excavations and deep holes with 6–12 m sections. The soil samples have been subjected to a series of tests under laboratory conditions to obtain physical and mechanical properties. Furthermore, the standard penetration tests have been applied to the soils under field conditions. The geological field observations, geotechnical data and distribution of bearing capacity have been considered for the geotechnical mapping. Based on the geotechnical map, there are five geotechnical zones distinguished in the study area.


Erzurum Alluvial deposit Geotechnical properties Geotechnical mapping 



The laboratory study of this research was carried out in the Soil Mechanics Laboratory of Civil Engineering Department, Engineering Faculty of Ataturk University. The authors thank authorities of the Civil Engineering Department.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earthquake Research CentreAtaturk UniversityErzurumTurkey
  2. 2.Oltu Vocational Training SchoolAtaturk UniversityErzurumTurkey

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