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Vol. 55, n.3, September
pp. 589-616

Multidisciplinary analyses to understand the tectonic activity and the evolution of the North Anatolian Fault in the Hersek Peninsula (Izmit Gulf, Turkey)

E. Forte, M. Sugan, A. Del Ben, M. Pipan, L. Gasperini and H. Kurt

received: December 11, 2013; accepted: March 7, 2014

Abstract

Despite several offshore data are available, a general model of the central part of the İzmit Gulf is still a challenge and only few measurements have been done on the Hersek peninsula. This area is a key point not only because represents the only onshore segment of the North Anatolian Fault (NAF) within the central part of the İzmit Gulf, but also because the new Istanbul-İzmit highway will cross such gulf in this zone, with a suspension bridge, which will be the second longest bridge of such type in the world. This paper, integrating different analyses and data sets aims verifying at some of the present hypotheses. In particular, we propose the joint interpretation of new seismic reflection profiles from the Hersek Peninsula, as well as geophysical, remote sensing and geological data from the İzmit Gulf (Sea of Marmara, Turkey), close to the epicenter of the 1999, Mw 7.4 İzmit earthquake, to identify shallow-crustal deformations associated with the NAF. Our seismic reflection profiles, which are the first onshore two-components records within the İzmit Gulf, image compressive features that form a structural high cut by the principal deformation zone of the NAF. The observed transpressive stress pattern appears to be the main factor contributing to the physiography of the peninsula, together with the growth northwards of the Yalakdere River deposits. We demonstrate that this pattern is compatible with an 8o bending of the NAF strand. Based on these new data, we propose a kinematic model for the evolution of this structure around the Hersek Peninsula during Holocene, and we test our reconstruction using a finite-elements numerical simulation model of the stress/strain distribution.

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