Turkish earthquakes reveal dynamics of fracturing along a major strike-slip fault zone



During the last 5 months of 1999, northwestern Turkey experienced two major earthquakes along the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ). The first earthquake struck the country at 3:01 A.M. local time on August 17, and caused extensive damage in the towns of Yalova, Gölcük, Izmit, Adapazari, and Düzce (Figure 1). The second earthquake occurred at 6:57 P.M. local time on November 12 and caused damage mostly in Düzce and Kaynasli.

The 7.4-Mw main shock of the August 17 Izmit earthquake was centered at 40.702°N, 29.987°E and originated at a depth of 17 km. The center was about 11 km southeast of Izmit, a major industrial town (Figure 1). The earthquake was a devastating natural disaster that claimed close to 20,000 lives and left more than 100,000 people homeless.