Geomorphic and geological constraints on the active normal faulting of the Gediz (Alaşehir) Graben, Western Turkey.
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The Gediz (Alaşehir) Graben is located in the highly tectonically active region of Western Turkey. Extension due to regional geodynamic controls has resulted in a broadly two-phase evolution of the graben; firstly, low-angle normal faulting relating to the exhumation of the Menderes Massif metamorphic core complex took place between 16 - 2.6 Ma. Secondly, high-angle normal faulting initiated ~ 2 Ma forming the Gediz and other E-W trending grabens in the region. Here we quantify the throw rate along the fault array over the last 2.6, 2 and 0.7 Ma using structural and geological constraints, along with analysis of topographic relief as a proxy for footwall uplift. We derive, for the first time, time averaged rates of fault motion from 0.4 mm/yr to 1.3 mm/yr along the strike of the Gediz Graben, with variation in throw-rate associated with the geometry of individual fault strands. Patterns in throw-rate along strike of the graben bounding fault array also suggest that the fault segments have become linked during the last 2.6 - 2 Ma, possibly at 0.8 – 0.7 Ma. Furthermore, these data suggest that an earthquake occurring along the graben bounding fault could have a maximum predicted Mw of 6.3 - 7.6.
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