Earthquake researchers have now identified a 30 kilometers long and ten kilometers deep area along the North Anatolian fault zone just south of Istanbul that could be the starting point for a strong earthquake.
© GFZ Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum
Erdbebengefährdung der Türkei, Epizentren und Lage der Haupt-Störungszonen
The group of seismologists including Professor Marco Bohnhoff of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences reported in the current online issue of the scientific journal /Nature/ (Nature Communications,DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2999) that this potential earthquake source is only 15 to 20 kilometers from the historic city center of Istanbul.
The Istanbul-Marmara region of northwestern Turkey with a population of more than 15 million faces a high probability of being exposed to an earthquake of magnitude 7 or more. To better understand the processes taking place before a strong earthquake at a critically pressurized fault zone, a seismic monitoring network was built on the Princes Islands in the Sea of Marmara off Istanbul under the auspices of the Potsdam based Helmholtz Centre GFZ together with the Kandilli Earthquake Observatory in Istanbul. The Princes Islands offer the only opportunity to monitor the seismic zone running below the seafloor from a distance of few kilometers.
The now available data allow the scientists around GFZ researcher Marco Bohnhoff to come to the conclusion that the area is locked in depth in front of the historic city of Istanbul: "/The block we identified reaches ten kilometers deep along the fault zone and has displayed no seismic activity since measurements began over four years ago. This could be an indication that the expected Marmara earthquake could originate there/”, says Bohnhoff.
This is also supported by the fact that the fracture zone of the last strong earthquake in the region, in 1999, ended precisely in this area - probably at the same structure, which has been impeding the progressive shift of the Anatolian plate in the south against the Eurasian plate in the north since 1766 and building up pressure. The results are also being compared with findings from other fault zones, such as the San Andreas Fault in California, to better understand the physical processes before an earthquake.
Currently, the GFZ is intensifying its activity to monitor the earthquake zone in front of Istanbul. Together with the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey AFAD, several 300 meter deep holes are currently being drilled around the eastern Marmara Sea, into which highly sensitive borehole seismometers will be placed. With this /Geophysical borehole Observatory at the North Anatolian Fault/ GONAF, measurement accuracy and detection threshold for microearthquakes are improved many times over. In addition, the new data also provide insights on the expected ground motion in the event of an earthquake in the region. Bohnhoff: "/Earthquake prediction is scientifically impossible. But studies such as this provide a way to better characterize earthquakes in advance in terms of location, magnitude and rupture progression, and therefore allow a better assessment of damage risk/."
Images in printable resolution:
Franz Ossing | GFZ Potsdam
Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute
Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences