Global Positioning System offers evidence of plate motions in eastern Mediterranean



Geophysicists are using the Global Positioning System (GPS), a highly precise satellite navigation system, to monitor the slow movements (cm/yr) of the crustal plates composing the Earth's surface and the deformations where such plates interact. We report the results of repeated GPS measurements in the complex zone of interaction between the Eurasian, Arabian, and African plates in Turkey. The GPS observations made between 1988 and 1992 indicate that western, central, and east central Turkey are decoupled from the Eurasian plate and are moving as a more or less coherent unit about an axis located north of the Sinai peninsula. Other space-based measurements of crustal motion in Greece and along the Hellenic arc [Smith et al., 1994] suggest that this coherent motion includes southern Greece and the south central Aegean Sea. We refer to this region (shaded in Figure 1) as the Anatolian plate.