1881 and 1949 earthquakes at the Chios-Cesme Strait (Aegean Sea) and their relation to tsunamis
- 1Istanbul University, Engineering Faculty, Department of Geophysics, 34850 Avcilar, Istanbul, Turkey
- 2Istanbul University, Institute of Marine Sciences and Management, 34116 Vefa, Istanbul, Turkey
Abstract. The most earthquake-prone areas in the eastern central Aegean Sea are the Izmir Bay, the Karaburun peninsula and the island of Chios. The level of seismic activity and tsunami potential are influenced by the presence of normal faults around the region. There have been about 20 moderate-size earthquakes from 496 BC to 1949 AD. Among these earthquakes, the ones on the dates 20 March 1389, 13 November 1856, 19/22 January 1866, 3 April 1881 and 23 July 1949 produced tsunamis. The Chios-Cesme earthquake (1881, Mw 6.5) took place in the South of the Cesme strait while the Chios-Karaburun earthquake (1949, Mw 6.7) occurred in the North. The tsunamis caused by the earthquakes affected the coasts of Chios Island and Cesme. These waves are thought to be associated with the earthquakes and co-seismic underwater failures possibly occurred along the coasts of the Chios Island and Karaburun Peninsula or on the complex subaqueous morphology between these lands. Some sea waves or oscillations observed following the aftershocks are believed to be related to other natural phenomena; e.g. the seiches occurred mainly in open-narrow bays as triggered by the earthquakes.