Possible Earthquakes in İzmir Will Be Known Beforehand

Possible Earthquakes in Izmir Will Be Known Beforehand
Possible Earthquakes in İzmir Will Be Known Beforehand

The seismicity research, which was initiated in line with the goal of Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer to make the city resistant to disasters, continues. Experts are investigating by digging trenches in the faults within a radius of 100 kilometers in İzmir. When the samples to be taken from the trench opened on Tuzla fault in Seferihisar after Narlıdere are analyzed, the earthquake potential of this fault zone will be revealed.

In line with the target of Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer to make the city more resistant to disasters, studies on land and sea continue within the scope of the seismicity, tsunami research, microzonation and ground behavior modeling project. Within the framework of Turkey's most comprehensive earthquake research, a paleoseismological research ditch was opened in Seferihisar as well. After examining the samples they will take from the trench opened on the Tuzla fault on land, the experts will reveal the potential to produce earthquakes for this fault zone.

“We aim to identify disaster risks”

Banu Dayangaç, Head of the Department of Earthquake Risk Management and Urban Improvement of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, said that work continues on nearly 100 fault zones in an area within a radius of 40 kilometers, which takes the city center as a reference. Stating that this study is the most comprehensive seismicity study in the country, Banu Dayangaç said, “We aim to identify all disaster risks that may affect our city in the future. Thus, we will determine in advance the measures to be taken against these risks. We see this project as an important risk reduction investment that will shape the future of our country. When the works are completed, we will have taken an important step towards becoming a safer and more resilient city.” Dayangaç said that with the project, they will reveal the tsunami danger of all coastal areas of İzmir.

Working on 40 fault zones

Paleoseismology Coordinator on Land, Eskişehir Osmangazi University Geological Engineering Department Head of General Geology Department Prof. Dr. Erhan Altunel also stated that they are investigating whether there are faults that can produce large earthquakes in İzmir. Stating that there are around 40 faults mapped around İzmir by the General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA), there is a team that maps active faults within the scope of the project initiated by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, Erhan Altunel said, “We have mapped both MTA faults and our active fault team. If there are new faults, we are working on them. Thus, we will determine which fault has the potential to create fractures on the surface, and which does not.”

Critical investigation in Tuzla fault

Stating that there are four parallel north-south trending fault zones in the south of İzmir, mapped by MTA, Erhan Altunel said: “From the west to the east, there are Güzelbahçe, Yağcılar, Seferihisar and Tuzla faults. We are currently investigating whether there has been an earthquake on the Tuzla fault in the history of this fault. We started a trench work on the south side of the fault close to the sea. After the work here is completed, we will be able to find the magnitude of the earthquake that the fault will produce.”
Stating that the work carried out is also important for the regions to be built, Altunel said, "If there is an active fault in the areas to be opened for development, if it creates a fracture on the surface, the structure will either collapse or be damaged in the earthquake when you build a building on it. With this study, we will know whether there will be such a danger or not," he said.

Works are scheduled to be completed in 2024

The seismicity research project, involving 10 scientists and 43 specialist engineers from 18 universities, is expected to be completed in 2024. During the studies carried out within the scope of the project, palaeoseismological ditches were dug in different parts of the Bergama, Gülbahçe, Narlıdere, Yağcılar, Seferihisar, İzmir and Tuzla fault zones and dozens of dating samples were collected. The paleoseismological trench dug in the Tuzla fault zone has a length of 35 meters, a depth of 3 meters and a width of 2 meters.

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