The study area is the Erzurum pull-apart basin located in the East Anatolian Tectonic Block (EATB), which is under the control of a strike-slip neotectonic regime since the beginning of Quaternary. The Quaternary Erzurum pull-apart basin is an about 1–30 km wide, 90 km long and actively growing strike-slip depression. It is bounded by the Erzurum–Dumlu sinistral strike-slip fault zone to the east-southeast, by the Askale sinistral strike-slip fault zone to the north-northwest, and by the Basköy–Kandilli reverse fault zone and the N–S-trending Ilica oblique-slip normal fault set to the west. The Erzurum pull-apart basin was evolved by the deformation and subdivision of an E–W-trending older intermontane basin. The new basin has a 0.5 km thick, flat-lying (undeformed) and uconsolidated fill, which overlies, with an angular unconformitry, the deformed (folded and faulted) basement rocks of pre-Quaternary age. Basin fill consists of coarser-grained marginal facies (fault terrace, fan, fan-apron and superimposed fan deposits) and finer-grained depocentral facies represented by flood plain to organic material-rich marsh deposits. All gradations are seen among these lithofacies.
The seismicity of the Erzurum pull-apart basin is quite high. The magnitude of the peak earthquake to be sourced from the active faults (e.g., the Erzurum fault) is about Mw = 7.0. This was proved by both the historical and recent earthquakes. Numerous settlements in the size of a large city (e.g., Erzurum), county, town and small villages with a total population of over 766,000 are located in and along the active fault-bounded margins of the Erzurum pull-apart basin. They are under the threat of destructive earthquakes to be sourced from the margin-boundary faults. Therefore, based on both the active fault parameters and the water-saturated basin fill, a large-scale earthquake hazard map has to be prepared. This map has to be used in both the earthquake hazard to risk analyses and the redesign of city planning and all type of constructions in Erzurum and other settlements in this region.