Powerful tremors hitting Turkey on Monday shifted the tectonic plates they sit on by 10 feet, experts say.
The Turkish state is located on major fault lines that border the Anatolian Plate, Arabian Plate, and Eurasian Plate and is therefore vulnerable to seismic activity.
The meteorologists found that the rupture occurred on a 140-mile (225 km) section of the fault between the Anatolian Plate and the Arabian Plate.
As a result, Turkey could withdraw “five to six meters towards Syria,” said Italian seismologist Dr. Carlo Doglione in an interview with Italia 24.
However, he added that this is all based on preliminary data, and more accurate data from satellites will be available in the coming days.
Dr Bob Holdsworth, a professor of structural geology at Durham University, said the plate shift was “totally understandable” given the magnitude and strength of the quake.
He told MailOnline: “There is a fairly predictable and widely documented relationship between the magnitude of an earthquake and the typical displacements that occur. Typically, an event of magnitude 6.5 to 6.9 is associated with a displacement of about one meter, while the largest known earthquakes can have displacements from 10 to 15 m The faults that have shifted in Turkey are horizontal shear faults that are mainly associated with horizontal displacements, so the total compensations proposed here in the region of 3 to 6 meters are quite reasonable Horizontal displacements can result from this type includes parts of large underground and surface infrastructure, including water mains, power cables, gas pipelines and tunnels Surface cracks can also form where faults break through to the surface – they can compensate for roads, rivers and other features, including built structures. This is in addition to the damage caused shaking, leaching and liquefaction of soft sediments in valleys/basins and landslides.
Catastrophic earthquakes occur when two tectonic plates slowly sliding in opposite directions meet and then suddenly slide off abruptly. These two plates are made up of the earth’s crust and the upper part of the earth’s core, or mantle, and below is the asthenosphere, a loose, viscous, warm conveyor belt of rock on which tectonic plates move.
They don’t all move in the same direction and often collide, creating a lot of pressure between the two plates that needs to be relieved.
Ultimately, this pressure causes one of the plates to vibrate either in subduction, which is called subduction, or over the other, in obduction, which can be called collision and ride, sometimes with partial subduction.
This releases massive amounts of energy, causing tremors and destroying any nearby property or infrastructure.
Large earthquakes usually occur over fault lines where tectonic plates meet, but small shocks can occur in the middle of these plates, on continental shields.
Turkey is located near the intersection of three tectonic plates, which means it is prone to earthquakes.
“Aleppo and Gaziantep have historically experienced a series of devastating earthquakes, and an event of similar magnitude occurred about two centuries ago,” Dr. Anastasios Sixtus, professor of seismic engineering at the University of Bristol, told MailOnline.
Most of Turkey’s territory lies on the Anatolian Plate, which is compressed between three other large plates. To the north of the plate is the Eurasian Plate, to the south is the African Plate, and to the east is the Arabian Plate.
This creates two large fault lines, Eastern Anatolia and Northern Anatolia, both of which are prone to seismic activity.
This is because the Arabian Plate is pushing north against the Eurasian Plate and pushing the Anatolian Plate west against the Aegean Sea.
The quakes, which began on Monday, hit the southwestern end of the 434-mile (699 km) East Anatolia Fault Line.
The first earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred at a depth of about 11 miles (18 km), and the second earthquake occurred nine hours later at a depth of 6 miles (10 km) and a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale.
Dr Joanna Faure Walker, professor of earthquake geology and disaster risk reduction at University College London (UCL), said the two quakes are shear earthquakes, meaning they are caused by displacement faults.
Here, two land masses move horizontally along the fault plane as a result of the increase in horizontal pressure.
Dr. Fore Walker told MailOnline: “Sliding faults are of medium strength, so they can receive earthquakes of magnitude 7 or 8. The size depends on the shear and the length of the fault it breaks. Thus, for a fault system with a total length of 690 km, something similar is possible. These are big earthquakes.”
In Eastern Anatolia near eastern Turkey, the average slip is 0.2 to 0.4 inches (6 to 10 mm) per year.
However, data presented by meteorologist Matthew Cappucci of MyRadar Weather shows that this week’s quakes have caused the Anatolian Plate to slide 10 feet (3 meters).
Doglione added that additional satellite data from the European agency Sentinel and ASI CosmoSkymed will provide more information in the next few days.
According to Dr. David Rothery, a geologist at the Open University, Turkey is moving about 0.8 inches west a year along the East Anatolian Rift.
“Due to friction along fault lines, the movement is not smooth,” he said. “Instead, energy is locally stored for years or decades until the accumulated stress becomes strong enough to overcome the resistance between the two slip surfaces and the rock.” the masses are superimposed on each other with a sudden jerk. “In this case, the strong shaking on the surface was strong enough to destroy the buildings, which is probably the cause of the death of most people. Landslides could also occur in mountainous areas. “
To date, more than 5,100 deaths have been confirmed in Turkey and Syria, with dozens of people trapped under the rubble of their destroyed homes.
After two strong earthquakes on Monday, another 5.8 magnitude quake hit the area on Tuesday morning as rescue efforts continued to rescue survivors.
Although the shock was not as strong as the first two, it was recorded at a shallow depth of 1.2 miles (1.9 km), and therefore could have caused more damage.
A winter storm and freezing temperatures are delaying those working in a race against time to free people from the rubble as cold weather makes the need to reach the trapped survivors all the more urgent.
The World Health Organization warned on Monday that the death toll could reach 20,000, and on Tuesday said 23 million people could be affected, including 1.4 million children.
Source: Daily Mail
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