Abstract

An accurate aftershock distribution of the 1999 İzmit, Turkey, earthquake was obtained by using the data from a local seismic network, IZINET, and 10 temporary seismic stations. More than 2000 aftershocks were relocated for the period of about 2 months following the mainshock. From this aftershock distribution we obtained several pieces of information on the characteristics of the mainshock. First, the mainshock initiated fault rupture from a place adjacent to an active swarm area where many microearthquakes had been occurring for more than 20 yr prior to the mainshock. Second, the aftershock region extended in the east-west direction along the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ). This confirms that the mainshock was caused by a slip on the NAFZ. Third, the western end of the rupture caused by the mainshock is likely to have reached up to about 29.2° E in the İzmit Bay, and hence the total length of the fault rupture caused by the mainshock amounts to about 150 km, as long as the estimate of the fault rupture length is based on the aftershock distribution. This information is important for the discussion on the possibility of future large earthquakes in the west of the source region of the İzmit earthquake. We also found a clear tendency that aftershocks occur in clusters, which implies strong heterogeneity in both the rupture process and the medium along the fault zone.

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