Seismotectonic setting at the North Anatolian Fault Zone after the 1999 Mw=7.4 Izmit earthquake based on high-resolution aftershock locations
Abstract. The most recent devastating earthquakes that occurred along the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ) in northwestern Turkey were the 1999 Izmit (Mw=7.4) and Düzce (Mw=7.1) events. In this study we present a catalog of Izmit aftershock hypocenters that was deduced from a network covering the entire 140 km long rupture of the mainshock. 7348 events with a location accuracy better than 5 km are analysed. Aftershocks were observed along the entire ruptured segment along a 20 km wide band of activity. Events are clustered in distinct regions and dominantly occur at 5 to 15 km depth. The eastern termination of the Izmit rupture is characterized by a sharp and steeply dipping boundary exactly where the Düzce mainshock initiated 87 days after the Izmit event. Relocation of the events using double-difference technology results in 4696 high-resolution hypocenters that allow resolving the internal structure of the seismically active areas with a resolution of 300 m (horizontal) and 400m (vertical). Below the Akyazi Plain, representing a small pull-apart structure at a triple junction of the NAFZ, we identify planes of activity that can be correlated with nodal planes of EW extensional normal faulting aftershocks. Along the easternmost Karadere-Düzce segment we identify the down-dip extension of the Karadere fault that hosted about 1 m of right-lateral coseismic slip. At the easternmost rupture we correlate a cloud-type distribution of seismic activity with the largest aftershocks in this area, a subevent of the Izmit mainshock and the Düzce mainshock that all have an almost identical focal mechanism. This part of the NAFZ is interpreted as a classical example of a seismic barrier along the fault.