The 12 November 1999 Duzce earthquake (Mw 7.1), which occurred on the Duzce fault of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, formed a 40-km-long surface rupture, which extended between Golyaka in the west and Kaynasli in the east. The earthquake nucleated close to the Beykoy step-over, a 0.8-km-wide and 1.8-km-long pressure ridge, with bilateral rupture propagation both to the west and the east. The Beykoy, Kaynasli, and Cevizlik step-overs, through which the 1999 Duzce rupture propagated, are less than 2.5 km wide. The Eften and Bakacak step-overs, where the rupture was arrested, are more than 4 km wide. These exceptional dimensions of step-overs associated with the 1999 Duzce rupture were investigated for their influence on rupture propagation.

The earthquake broke three distinct geometric segments, from west to east, the Eften, Dagdibi, and Kaynasli fault segments, separated by left-restraining step-overs at Beykoy and Kaynasli. To the west of the main shock, 3.5 m of average slip on the Eften fault segment propagated into the 2-km-wide Cevizlik releasing double bend, where it was largely arrested, with smaller (<0.5 m) slip continuing westward on the Golyaka intervening segment, west of Lake Eften. This is similar to the termination of slip observed on the Karadere fault segment in the 1999 Izmit earthquake, where 1.5 m of slip was largely terminated by a releasing double bend at the Golyaka intervening segment, with minor slip continuing eastward near Lake Eften. To the east of the main shock, 5 m of slip decreased along the Dagdibi fault segment to about 3.5 m at the 1-km-wide Kaynasli step-over. From here to the east, the 2.5 m of average slip on the Kaynasli fault segment continued to decrease, reaching zero at the releasing step-overs to the Elmalik fault.

The terminations of the 1999 Duzce surface rupture are defined by distinct structural complexities. The rupture was arrested in the west at the 4-km-wide Eften releasing double bend, where the eastern termination of the 1999 Izmit rupture also occurred. To the east, the rupture terminated at the 4- to 5-km-wide Bakacak releasing double step-overs. Both eastern and western ends of the Duzce rupture have short fault segments that experienced minor rupture during the 1999 Duzce earthquake. The Golyaka intervening segment experienced minor rupture, during both the 1999 Izmit and Duzce earthquakes. The Duzce rupture propagated across 0.8- to 2-km-wide step-overs, but it was arrested at step-overs 4 km wide or wider. These results agree with the observations on ratios between step-over width (in kilometers) and strike-slip displacement (in meters) collected along strike-slip faults worldwide (Lettis et al., 2002).

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