Steady late quaternary slip rate on the Cinarcik section of the North Anatolian fault near Istanbul, Turkey

Hulya Kurt, C. C. Sorlien, L. Seeber, M. S. Steckler, D. J. Shillington, G. Cifci, M. H. Cormier, J. X. Dessa, O. Atgin, D. Dondurur, E. Demirbag, S. Okay, C. Imren, S. Gurcay, H. Carton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The distribution of plate motion between multiple fault strands and how this distribution may evolve remain poorly understood, despite the key implications for seismic hazards. The North Anatolian Fault in northwest Turkey is a prime example of a multistranded continental transform. Here we present the first constraints on late Quaternary slip rates on its northern branch across the Cinarcik Basin in the eastern Marmara Sea. We use both deep penetration and high-resolution multichannel seismic reflection data with a stratigraphic age model to show that a depocenter has persisted near the fault bend responsible for that transform basin. Successively older depocenters have been transported westward by fault motion relative to Eurasia, indicating a uniform right-lateral slip rate of 18.5 mm/yr over the last 500,000 years, compared to overall GPS rates (23-24 mm/yr). Thus, the northern branch has slipped at a nearly constant rate and has accounted for most of the relative plate motion between Eurasia and Anatolia since ∼0.5 Ma. Key Points North Anatolian Fault slip rate is 18.5 mm/yr since 540 ka in Cinarcik Basin The ∼540 ka base of a Cinarcik Basin depocenter has subsided at 7.4 mm/yr Subsidence and sedimentation persist on the extensional side of a transform bend

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4555-4559
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 16 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Marmara Sea
  • North Anatolian Fault
  • continental transform fault displacement
  • seismic stratigraphy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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