Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Gasperini L., Polonia A., Del Bianco F., Favali P., Marinaro G., Etiope G. Cold seeps, active faults and the earthquake cycle along the North Anatolian Fault system in the Sea of Marmara (NW Turkey). In: Bollettino di Geofisica Teorica e Applicata, vol. 53 (4) pp. 371 - 384. IST NAZIONALE DI OCEANOGRAFIA E DI GEOFISICA, BORGO GROTTA GIGANTE, 42-C, SGONICO, TRIESTE 34010, ITALY, 2012.
After the 1999 Izmit earthquake (M(w)7.4), along the North-Anatolian Fault (NAF), an increase in gas emissions from the seafloor of the Sea of Marmara was observed. Using a multidisciplinary approach, that includes a combined analysis of high-resolution marine geophysical and gas-geochemical data, we determined the character of gas/fluid emissions and their spatial relationship with tectonic structures in the Darica Basin (Gulf of Izmit), close to the western termination of the 1999 earthquake surface rupture. Data collected during several oceanographic expeditions allowed us to investigate the fine structure of active fault branches, as well as the geochemical signature of the cold seeps. We observed that gas emissions at the seafloor of the Darica Basin are mostly constituted by biogenic CH4, and are aligned along strike-slip and transtensional fault segments. Although maximum CH4 concentrations were measured in correspondence of transtensional strands, we suggest that the biogenic CH4 emissions found along strike-slip segments, showing a relatively low gas background noise and a potential to increase during seismic events, are more suitable to study relationships between gas expulsion and the earthquake cycle.
DOI: 10.4330/bgta0082
Subject cold seeps; earthquake cycle; Izmit earthquake; Gulf of Izmit; North Anatolian Fault (NAF); Sea of Marmara; seafloor observatories

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