New insight into the 24 January 2020, M-w 6.8 Elazig earthquake (Turkey): An evidence for rupture-parallel pull-apart basin activation along the East Anatolian Fault Zone constrained by Geodetic and Seismological data

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Irmak T. S., Toker M., Yavuz E., Şentürk E., Guvenaltin M. A.

ANNALS OF GEOPHYSICS, vol.64, no.4, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 64 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.4401/ag-8638
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Geobase, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: East Anatolia, Pull-apart basin activation, Surface deformation, Waveform inversion, SLAB BREAK-OFF, PN TOMOGRAPHY, HAZAR BASIN, INVERSION, VELOCITY, KINEMATICS, PARAMETERS, EVOLUTION, DYNAMICS, UPLIFT
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, we investigated the main features of the causative fault of the 24 January 2020, M-w, 6.8 Elazig earthquake (Turkey) using seismological and geodetic data sets to provide new insight into the East Anatolian Fault Zone (EAFZ). We first constrained the co-seismic surface deformation and the rupture geometry of the causative fault segment using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) interferograms (Sentinel-1A/B satellites) and teleseismic waveform inversion, respectively. Also, we determined the centroid moment tensor (CMT) solutions of focal mechanisms of the 27 aftershocks using the regional waveform inversion method. Finally, we evaluated the co-seismic slip distribution and the CMT solutions of the causative fault as well as of adjacent segments using the 27 focal solutions of the aftershocks, superimposed on the surface deformation pattern. The CMT solution of the 24 January 2020Elazig earthquake reveals a pure strike-slip focal mechanism, consistent with the structural pattern and left-lateral motion of the EAFZ. The rupture process of the Elazig event indicated that the rupture is started at 12 km around the hypocenter, and then propagated bilaterally along the NE-SW but mainly toward the southwest. The rupture slip has initially propagated toward the southwest (first 10 s) and northeast (4 s), and again toward the southwest (9 s). Maximum displacement is calculated as 1.3 m about 20 km southwest of the hypocenter at 6 km depth (centroid depth). The rupture stopped to down-dip around 20 km depth toward the southwest. The distribution of the slip vectors indicates that the rupture continued mostly through a normal oblique movement. Most of the moment release was released SW of the hypocenter and the rupture reached up to around 50 km. The focal mechanisms of analyzed 27 aftershocks show strike-slip, but mostly normal and normal oblique-slip faulting with an orientation of the tensional axes (NNE-SSW), indicating a normal oblique-slip, "transtensional" stress regime, parallel-subparallel to the strike of the EAFZ, consistent with SW-rupture directivity and coseismic deformation pattern. Finally, based on the co-seismic surface deformation compatible with the distributional pattern of normal focal solutions, normal and normal oblique-slip focals of the aftershocks evidence the rupture-parallel pull-apart basin activation as a segment boundary of the left-lateral strike-slip movement of the EAFZ.