North Anatolian Fault

The North Anatolian Fault (NAF) (Turkish: Kuzey Anadolu Fay Hattı) is an active right-lateral strike-slip fault in northern Anatolia, and is the transform boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Anatolian Plate. The fault extends westward from a junction with the East Anatolian Fault at the Karliova Triple Junction in eastern Turkey, across northern Turkey and into the Aegean Sea for a length of 1500 kilometers.[1] It runs about 20 km south of Istanbul. The North Anatolian Fault is similar in many ways to the San Andreas Fault in California. Both are continental transforms with similar lengths and slip rates. The Sea of Marmara near Istanbul is an extensional basin similar to the Salton Trough in California, where a releasing bend in the strike-slip system creates a pull-apart basin.

North Anatolian Fault
The North Anatolian Fault and slip magnitudes of earthquakes in the 20th century
The North Anatolian Fault and slip magnitudes of earthquakes in the 20th century
Map showing the location of North Anatolian Fault
Map showing the location of North Anatolian Fault
Location of the fault
Anatolian Plate.png
The North Anatolian and neighbouring faults covering most of Turkey
Coordinates41°00′N 35°00′E / 41.000°N 35.000°E / 41.000; 35.000Coordinates: 41°00′N 35°00′E / 41.000°N 35.000°E / 41.000; 35.000
Country Turkey
RegionMarmara Region, Black Sea Region, Eastern Anatolia Region
Citiesİstanbul, Bursa, Bolu, Tokat, Erzincan, Erzurum
Elevation3,937 metres (12,917 ft)
Top depth1,370 metres (4,495 ft)
RangePontic Mountains, Köroğlu Mountains
Length1,500 kilometres (900 mi)
PlateAnatolian Plate, Eurasian Plate
EarthquakesList of earthquakes in Turkey
Typestrike-slip fault

Significant earthquakesEdit

Since the disastrous 1939 Erzincan earthquake, there have been seven earthquakes measuring over 7.0 in magnitude,[2] each happening at a point progressively further west.[3] Seismologists studying this pattern believe that each earthquake may trigger the next.[4] By analyzing the stresses along the fault caused by each large earthquake, they were able to predict[quantify] the shock that hit the town of İzmit with devastating effect in August 1999. It is thought that the chain is not complete, and that an earthquake will soon strike further west along the fault – perhaps near the heavily populated city of Istanbul.

Event Moment magnitude Casualties
1939 Erzincan 7.8 32,700+ dead and 100,000+ injured
1942 Niksar–Erbaa 7.0 ~3,000 dead
1943 Tosya–Ladik 7.2 2,824 dead
1944 Bolu–Gerede 7.2 3,959 dead
1949 Karlıova 6.7 320 dead
1951 Kurşunlu 6.9 50 dead and 3,354 injured
1957 Abant 7.1 52 dead
1966 Varto 6.9 2,394 dead and 1,489 injured
1967 Mudurnu Valley 7.1 86 dead, 332 injured
1992 Erzincan 6.7 498+ dead and 2,000+ injured
1999 İzmit 7.6 17,118+ dead and 43,953+ injured
1999 Düzce 7.2 845+ dead and 4,948 injured


  1. ^ "The North Anatolian Fault is a 1,500-kilometer-long east-west trending fault that runs across most of Turkey." The Earth Magazine web site
  2. ^ USGS Worldwide Earthquake List.
  3. ^ Stein, R. S.; Barka, A. A.; Dieterich, J. H. (1997). "Progressive failure on the North Anatolian fault since 1939 by earthquake stress triggering". Geophysical Journal International. 128 (3): 594–604. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246x.1997.tb05321.x.
  4. ^ "Earthquake Storms". Horizon. April 1, 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-02.

External linksEdit