Character of active faulting in the North Aegean Sea

Ruhi Saatçilar*, Semih Ergintav, Emin Demirbaǧ, Sedat Inan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


A re-evaluation of the reprocessed seismic reflection data was made for the investigation of the presumed western continuation of the North Anatolian Fault (NAF) in the Aegean and mapping geometries of active faults in the Aegean Sea. Seismic data collected and processed by various national and international companies were selected from the data archives and they were reprocessed after stacking to bring them to the same processing and signal-to-noise ratio standards. The total length of the selected lines is 8000 km. We investigated the character of active faulting in the North Aegean Sea using seismic reflection data. Moreover, the relations of active faults with earthquakes were examined using earthquake fault plane solutions (FPS). We show that the active faults are dominantly normal in character in the NNE Aegean where FPS for earthquakes with M > 5 indicate strike-slip movements along these faults. We propose a simple mechanism that potentially explains this inconsistency. Active normal faults are oriented in a NE-SW direction in alignment with the SW escape motion of the Anatolian block in this region and this orientation facilitates instantaneously strike-slip movements along these otherwise normal faults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-353
Number of pages15
JournalMarine Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1999


This work is partly supported by Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (Tübitak) and Turkish Petroleum (TPAO). Some maps in this paper were plotted by GMT Software of Wessel and Smith (1995) . Authors thank C. Çoruh, M.N. Yalçin, E. Arpat, N. Görür, S. Kuleli, A. Barka and O. Selvi for their valuable discussion and suggestions. We thank S. Özalaybey for his constructive criticism and suggestions. Finally, we appreciate the critical and constructive reviews by J. Mascle, B.C. Papazachos and the anonymous reviewers. We are also grateful to Dr. H. Chamley and Mr. T. Horscroft for perfect editorial handling and the invaluable criticism and suggestions they provided.

FundersFunder number
Turkish Petroleum
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu


    • Active faulting
    • Aegean Sea
    • Earthquake
    • Seismic reflection


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