Near-surface structure of the North Anatolian Fault zone from Rayleigh and Love wave tomography using ambient seismic noise

Taylor, George; Rost, Sebastian; Houseman, Gregory A.; Hillers, Gregor

We use observations of surface waves in the ambient noise field recorded at a dense seismic array to image the North Anatolian Fault zone (NAFZ) in the region of the 1999 magnitude 7.6 Izmit earthquake in western Turkey. The NAFZ is a major strike-slip fault system extending ∼1200 km across northern Turkey that poses a high level of seismic hazard, particularly to the city of Istanbul. We obtain maps of phase velocity variation using surface wave tomography applied to Rayleigh and Love waves and construct high-resolution images of S-wave velocity in the upper 10 km of a 70 × 30 km region around Lake Sapanca. We observe low S-wave velocities (<2.5 km s−1) associated with the Adapazari and Pamukova sedimentary basins, as well as the northern branch of the NAFZ. In the Armutlu Block, between the two major branches of the NAFZ, we image higher velocities (>3.2 km s−1) associated with a shallow crystalline basement. We measure azimuthal anisotropy in our phase velocity observations, with the fast direction seeming to align with the strike of the fault at periods shorter than 4 s. At longer periods up to 10 s, the fast direction aligns with the direction of maximum extension for the region (∼45). The signatures of both the northern and southern branches of the NAFZ are clearly associated with strong gradients in seismic velocity that also denote the boundaries of major tectonic units. Our results support the conclusion that the development of the NAFZ has exploited this pre-existing contrast in physical properties.

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Taylor, George / Rost, Sebastian / Houseman, Gregory A. / et al: Near-surface structure of the North Anatolian Fault zone from Rayleigh and Love wave tomography using ambient seismic noise. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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