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Normal fault displacement dislocating a Roman aqueduct of Ephesos, western Turkey


Correspondence: Prof. Cees W. Passchier, Institut fur Geowissenschaften, Johannes Gutenberg Universitat, Becherweg 21, Mainz D-55099, Germany. e-mail:


A 38-km-long ancient aqueduct channel that served Roman Ephesos, Turkey was dislocated vertically over 3 m by a single seismic event on a normal fault. A new channel was constructed downstream from the fault in Roman times, next to and partly on top of the original channel. Archaeological investigations and study of carbonate deposits suggest a causative seismic event in the second half of the second century CE, probably in 178 CE, after the original channel had functioned for <35 years. The İçme Tepe fault was identified as responsible for the displacement and may still constitute a seismic and tsunami hazard for the Turkish west coast, specifically for the city of Kuşadası. Ancient aqueducts, of which more than 1400 are presently known, are a promising and almost untapped archive for archaeoseismic studies, especially in the Mediterranean area.