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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2018-113
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2018-113
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 22 Oct 2018

Research article | 22 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Crustal Density Model of the Sea of Marmara: Geophysical Data Integration and 3D Gravity Modelling

Ershad Gholamrezaie1,2, Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth1,3, Judith Sippel1, Oliver Heidbach1, and Manfred R. Strecker2 Ershad Gholamrezaie et al.
  • 1Helmholtz Centre Potsdam–GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Faculty of Georesources and Material Engineering, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany

Abstract. The Sea of Marmara, in Northwest Turkey, is a transition zone where the dextral North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ) propagates westward from the Anatolian plate to the Aegean plate. The area is of interest in the context of seismic hazard in the vicinity of Istanbul, a metropolitan area with about 15 million inhabitants. Geophysical observations indicate that the crust is heterogeneous beneath the Marmara Basin, but a detailed characterization of the crustal heterogeneities is still missing. To assess if and how crustal heterogeneities are related to the NAFZ segmentation below the Marmara Sea, we develop a new crustal-scale 3D density model which integrates geological and seismological data and is additionally constrained by 3D gravity modelling. This model indicates that the observed gravitational anomalies originate from significant density heterogeneities within the crust. Two layers of sediments, one syn-kinematic and one pre-kinematic with respect to the Marmara Sea formation are underlain by a heterogeneous crystalline crust. A felsic upper crystalline crust (average density of 2720kgm−3) and an intermediate to mafic lower crystalline crust (average density of 2890kgm−3) appear to be crosscut by two large, dome-shaped mafic high-density bodies (average density of 3050kgm−3) of considerable thickness above a rather uniform lithospheric mantle (3300kgm−3). The spatial correlation between the bent segments of the fault and the location of the high-density bodies suggests that the distribution of lithological heterogeneities within the crust controls the rheological behaviour along the NAFZ, and consequently, influences fault segmentation and propagation dynamics.

Ershad Gholamrezaie et al.
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Ershad Gholamrezaie et al.
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Based on geophysical data integration and 3D gravity modelling, we show that significant density heterogeneities are expressed as two large high-density bodies in the crust below the Sea of Marmara. The location of these bodies correlates spatially with bent segments of the Main Marmara Fault, indicating that rheological contrasts in the crust may influence the fault kinematics. Our findings may have implications for seismic hazard and risk assessments in the Marmara region.
Based on geophysical data integration and 3D gravity modelling, we show that significant density...
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