Geo-Marine Letters

, 26:69 | Cite as

Turbidites and their association with past earthquakes in the deep Çınarcık Basin of the Marmara Sea

  • Erol SarıEmail author
  • M. Namık Çağatay


Two gravity cores (CAG-3 and C-15) from the tectonically active, 1,276-m deep Çınarcık Basin of the Marmara Sea each include three sandy turbiditic mud units (1 mm–2 cm thick) with sharp basal contacts. The high benthic foraminifer content of these units suggests that the sediments were transported by turbidity currents from the upper slope region. These units represent the thin edges of turbidites thickening towards the subsiding north-eastern part of the basin, and contain quartz, detrital calcite, intact shells and shell fragments, smectite, pyrite framboids, muscovite, biotite, epidote and garnet. Their clay fractions are more enriched in smectite than those of adjacent layers. AMS 14C ages (957±43 a.d. and 578±31 a.d.) of two upper and middle turbiditic units in core C15 overlap with the historical İstanbul-Thrace (intensity=10) and İstanbul-Kocaeli (intensity=9) earthquakes of 26 October 986 and 15 August 553, respectively. This overlap, together with sedimentological characteristics, strongly suggests that the turbiditic units are related to the tectono-seismic activity of the North Anatolian Fault. The age of the lowest turbiditic unit in core C-3 was found to be 6,573±87 a b.p. (calendar) by AMS 14 C. In terms of chronostratigraphic relationships and lithological composition, the turbiditic units in core CAG-3 cannot be correlated with those in C15. This can be explained by gravity-controlled sedimentation causing wedging out of turbidites towards the edge of the basin.


Turbidite Turbidity Current Benthic Foraminifer North Anatolian Fault Submarine Canyon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported by The Research Foundation of the University of İstanbul (project T-1189/01112001). We thank the captain, crew and scientific team of the MTA’s RV Sismik for taking the cores used for this study. E.S. is also grateful for the kind assistance and invaluable guidance of Drs. Naci Görür, Oya Algan, Nuray Balkıs and Necmettin Akten. We acknowledge Dr. Brian Bornhold, one anonymous referee and associate editor Dr. Monique Delafontaine for their constructive criticisms which considerably improved the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine Sciences and Managementİstanbul UniversityİstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences and Mining Faculty, General Geology Sectionİstanbul Technical UniversityİstanbulTurkey

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