TECTONOPHYSICS, cilt.445, ss.49-65, 2007 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
In this paper, we present a relation between the earthquake occurrence and electric resistivity structures in the crust, in West Anatolia and the Thrace region of Turkey. The relationship between magnetotelluric georesistivity models and crustal earthquakes in West Anatolia, during a period from 1900 to 2000, is investigated. It is found that most of the large crustal earthquakes occurred in and around the areas of the highest electrical resistivity in the upper crust, although rare small magnitude earthquakes are observed in some parts of the conductive lower crust in West Anatolian extensional terrain. The high-resistivity zones may represent rocks that are probably mechanically strong enough to permit sufficient stress to accumulate for earthquakes to occur in western Anatolia and the Thrace region. However, some recent studies state that the generation of a large earthquake is not only a pure mechanical process, but is closely related to fluid existence. We also reviewed recent world-wide researches including results from the Anatolian data for the first time and discussed all general findings in combination. Our findings show that the boundary between the resistive upper crust and the conductive lower crust correlates well with the cutout depth of the seismicity in West Anatolia and Thrace. This boundary is also attributed to the fluid bearing brittle–ductile transition zone in world literature. Fluid migration from the conductive lower crust to the resistive upper crust may contribute the seismicity in resistive zones. Alternatively, the upper–lower crust boundary may act as a stress concentrator and fluids may help to release strain energy in brittle parts of lower crust, by small magnitude earthquakes, whereas they may help in focusing strain in mechanically strong and electrically resistive zones for large earthquakes to occur.