Natural Hazards

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 45–71 | Cite as

Seismic behaviour of the North Anatolian Fault beneath the Sea of Marmara (NW Turkey): implications for earthquake recurrence times and future seismic hazard

  • Murat Utkucu
  • Zakir Kanbur
  • Ömer Alptekin
  • Fatih Sünbül
Original Paper


Possible long-term seismic behaviour of the Northern strand of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, between western extreme of the 1999 İzmit rupture and the Aegean Sea, after 400 AD is studied by examining the historical seismicity, the submarine fault mapping and the paleoseismological studies of the recent scientific efforts. The long-term seismic behaviour is discussed through two possible seismicity models devised from M S ≥ 7.0 historical earthquakes. The estimated return period of years of the fault segments for M1 and M2 seismic models along with their standard deviations are as follows: F4 segment 255 ± 60 and 258 ± 12; F5 segment 258 ± 60 and 258 ± 53; F6 segment 258 ± 60 and 258 ± 53; F7 segment 286 ± 103 and 286 ± 90; F8 segment 286 ± 90 and 286 ± 36. As the latest ruptures on the submarine segments have been reported to be during the 1754–1766 earthquake sequence, and the 1912 mainshock rupture has been evidenced to extend almost all over the western part of the Sea of Marmara, our results imply imminent seismic hazard and, considering the mean recurrence time, a large earthquake to strike the eastern part of the Sea of Marmara in the next two decades.


Earthquake recurrence models The Sea of Marmara North Anatolian Fault Zone Historical seismicity Turkey 



The authors extend special thanks to Dr. A.O. Öncel for kindly providing the declustered background seismicity of the study area of the period 1981–1999. This research was partially supported by Scientific and Technological Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) post-doctoral fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murat Utkucu
    • 1
  • Zakir Kanbur
    • 2
  • Ömer Alptekin
    • 3
  • Fatih Sünbül
    • 1
  1. 1.Geophysical Engineering DepartmentSakarya UniversityAdapazarıTurkey
  2. 2.Department of GeophysicsSüleyman Demirel UniversityIspartaTurkey
  3. 3.Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research InstituteBoğaziçi UniversityİstanbulTurkey

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