Tsunami potential source in the eastern Sea of Marmara (NW Turkey), along the North Anatolian Fault system

Luca Gasperini*, Filippo Zaniboni, Alberto Armigliato, Stefano Tinti, Gianluca Pagnoni, Mehmet Sinan Özeren, Marco Ligi, Francesca Natali, Alina Polonia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Based on morphobathymetric and seismic reflection data, we studied a large landslide body from the eastern Sea of Marmara (NW Turkey), along the main strand of the North Anatolian Fault, one of the most seismically active geological structures on Earth. Due to its location and dimensions, the sliding body may cause tsunamis in case of failure possibly induced by an earthquake. This could affect heavily the coasts of the Sea of Marmara and the densely populated Istanbul Metropolitan area, with its exposed cultural heritage assets. After a geological and geometrical description of the landslide, thanks to high-resolution marine geophysical data, we simulated numerically possible effects of its massive mobilization along a basal displacement surface. Results, within significant uncertainties linked to dimensions and kinematics of the sliding mass, suggest generation of tsunamis exceeding 15–20 m along a broad coastal sector of the eastern Sea of Marmara. Although creeping processes or partial collapse of the landslide body could lower the associated tsunami risk, its detection stresses the need for collecting more marine geological/geophysical data in the region to better constrain hazards and feasibility of specific emergency plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2295-2310
Number of pages16
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Assessment
  • Earthquakes
  • Landslide
  • North Anatolian Fault
  • Risk
  • Sea of Marmara
  • Tsunamis


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