A reappraisal of active tectonics along the Fethiye-Burdur trend, southwestern Turkey

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Edwin Nissen, Mussaver Didem Cambaz , Élyse Gaudreau, Andrew Howell, Ezgi Karasözen, Elena Savidge


We investigate active tectonics in southwestern Turkey along the trend between Fethiye, near the eastern end of the Hellenic subduction zone, and Burdur, on the Anatolian plateau. Previously, regional GPS velocity data have been used to propose either (1) a NE-trending zone of strike-slip faulting coined the Fethiye-Burdur Fault Zone, or (2) a mix of uniaxial and radial extension accommodated by normal faults with diverse orientations. We test these models against the available earthquake data, updated in light of recent earthquakes at Acıpayam (20 March 2019, Mw 5.6) and Bozkurt (8 August 2019, Mw 5.8) — the largest in this region in the last two decades — and at Arıcılar (24 November 2017, Mw 5.3). Using Sentinel-1 InSAR and seismic waveforms and arrival times, we show that the Acıpayam, Bozkurt and Arıcılar earthquakes were buried ruptures on pure normal faults with subtle or indistinct topographic expressions. By exploiting ray paths shared with these well-recorded modern events, we relocate earlier instrumental seismicity throughout southwestern Turkey. We find that the 1971 Mw 6.0 Burdur earthquake likely ruptured a NW-dipping normal fault in an area of indistinct geomorphology near Salda Lake, contradicting earlier studies that place it on well-expressed faults bounding the Burdur basin. Overall, the northern Fethiye-Burdur trend is characterized by orthogonal normal faulting, consistent with radial extension and likely responsible for the distinct physiography of Turkey's 'Lake District'. The southern Fethiye-Burdur trend is dominated by ESE-WNW trending normal faulting, even though most faults evident in the topography strike NE-SW. This hints at a recent change in regional strain, perhaps related to eastward propagation of the Gökova graben into the area or to rapid subsidence of the Rhodes basin. Overall, our results support GPS-derived tectonic models that depict a mix of uniaxial and radial extension throughout southwestern Turkey, with no evidence for major, active strike-slip faults anywhere along the Fethiye-Burdur trend. Normal faulting orientations are consistent with a stress field driven primarily by contrasts in gravitational potential energy between the elevated Anatolian plateau and the low-lying Rhodes and Antalya basins.




Geophysics and Seismology, Tectonics and Structure


continental neotectonics, earthquake hazards


Published: 2021-07-07 19:58

Last Updated: 2022-01-16 02:07

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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