Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2013

Abstract

The distribution of plate motion between multiple fault strands and how this distribution may evolve remain poorly understood, despite the key implications for seismic hazards. The North Anatolian Fault in northwest Turkey is a prime example of a multistranded continental transform. Here we present the first constraints on late Quaternary slip rates on its northern branch across the Cinarcik Basin in the eastern Marmara Sea. We use both deep penetration and high‐resolution multichannel seismic reflection data with a stratigraphic age model to show that a depocenter has persisted near the fault bend responsible for that transform basin. Successively older depocenters have been transported westward by fault motion relative to Eurasia, indicating a uniform right‐lateral slip rate of 18.5 mm/yr over the last 500,000 years, compared to overall GPS rates (23–24 mm/yr). Thus, the northern branch has slipped at a nearly constant rate and has accounted for most of the relative plate motion between Eurasia and Anatolia since ~0.5 Ma.

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