Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
Research article
04 Feb 2015
Research article |  | 04 Feb 2015

Estimation of successive coseismic vertical offsets using coeval sedimentary events – application to the southwestern limit of the Sea of Marmara's Central Basin (North Anatolian Fault)

C. Beck, C. Campos, K. K. Eriş, N. Çağatay, B. Mercier de Lepinay, and F. Jouanne

Abstract. In the deep part of the Sea of Marmara (Turkey), the sedimentation developing upon the North Anatolian Fault is strongly influenced by the associated seismic activity, through gravity reworking (fluidized landslides) and tsunamis. Specific layers (homogenites + turbidites, HmTu), representing individual sedimentary events, have been characterized along three giant piston cores retrieved from the Çinarcik and Central (or Orta) basins. Pre-Holocene, nonmarine sediments, were analyzed, representing the last 12–17 kyr BP (before present). For a 2 kyr long interval, 11 events could be precisely correlated on both sides of the Central Basin's southwestern scarp. For each of them, based on the specific depositional process, the thickness difference between the two sites was considered as a direct estimation of the vertical component of a coeval coseismic offset. The homogenite (upper) component accounts for the major part of the thickness difference (ranging from 36 to 144 cm). These offsets were considered as likely representing dominantly vertical throws, along the transtensional southwestern boundary of the inner, pull-apart Central Basin. In terms of natural hazards, further investigations on this local behavior should rather be directed to tsunami genesis.

Short summary
Deciphering coseismic offsets from creeping is a key point for an active fault behavior. In a subaqueous setting, coseismic offsets of the seafloor may be sealed off by earthquake-triggered sediments. Along the limit of a pull-apart basin in the Sea of Marmara, successive vertical offsets (up to 1.4m) are deduced from the thicknesses of homogenites which seal-off created scarps. During a 2kyr period, coseismic seafloor offsets are dominant, representing potential tsunami hazards.
Final-revised paper