Abstract

We analyze ground-penetrating radar (GPR) profiles made across and parallel to the August 1999 earthquake ruptures of the North Anatolian fault in Turkey. The profiles document cumulative right-lateral offset of stream channels and the successive faulting of a medieval (Ottoman) canal. The dominance of fine sand to coarse gravel in the sections imaged allows for reasonably deep penetration, and processed radar signals clearly image visible reflectors within the uppermost 5 m. Near Köseköy, buried fluvial-channel deposits, exposed in some trenches dug to determine paleoseismicity, are also visible on profiles and show a maximum 6.7–7.4 m of lateral displacement. Younger channel units display 4.5–4.9 m of right-lateral displacement at 2–3 m depth and show that the penultimate rupture along the Izmit segment produced a similar amount of displacement as in 1999. At the Ottoman canal site, GPR profiles complement a trench study and provide consistent results showing the occurrence of three faulting events after A.D. 1591, the date of canal construction. This study demonstrates that the use of GPR method in paleoseismology contributes to better identification of cumulative slip along active faults.

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