High resolution images of the mid- to lower-crust beneath the North Anatolian Fault obtained using the scattered seismic wavefield
Monday, 15 December 2014
Deformation along major strike-slip faults is typically focussed into narrow damage zones at the surface, but the distribution at greater depths is more enigmatic. For instance, deformation in the lower crust beneath these faults is often attributed to much broader ductile shear zones. Deciphering how strain is distributed throughout the crust and lithospheric mantle is important because it has ramifications on the earthquake loading cycle. In order to better understand the structure of these systems at depth, we investigate the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ) as part of a multidisciplinary project entitled FaultLab. This fault system extends ~1200km across Turkey and has shown a clear west-east progression in seismicity over the last century, culminating in 2 catastrophic earthquakes located close to the population centers of Izmit and Duzce in 1999. In this contribution, we will present new data from a dense seismic array (Dense Array for North Anatolia, DANA, a 6x11 grid with a nominal station spacing of 7km) located across a part of the ruptured segment of the Izmit earthquake. Using the techniques of teleseismic scattering tomography and scattering migration, the excellent resolution afforded by DANA highlights sharp (< 5km) lateral variations in structure at mid- to lower-crustal depths (~20-25\,km) across two branches of the NAFZ. This suggests that deformation zones between distinct crustal blocks remain narrow at these depths. Integrating complementary results from other parts of the FaultLab project (satellite geodesy, geodynamical modelling, structural geology), the results appear to be consistent with postseismic deformation being accommodated through afterslip on the deep extension of a narrow fault zone as opposed to a broad ductile region beneath the seismogenic extent of the fault.