The North Anatolian Fault

The North Anatolian Fault

   
 The Anatolian plate is escaping westward from between the vise of the converging Arabian and Eurasian plates.  Anatolia is bounded by the right-lateral and left-lateral pair of the North Anatolian Faults (NAF) and East Anatolian Fault (EAF) on the top and bottom, respectively.  The Marmara Sea is in the boxed area.Source: Amijo et al., 2002.
 
           Detailed GPS surveys demonstrate the counterclockwise rotation of the Anatolia plate. The arrows, show that relative to a stationary Eurasia there is ~25 mm/y of motion across the North Anatolian Fault (red) and the Marmara Sea (colored box).
Source: McCluskey et al., 2000.
 
   
The North Anatolian Fault is a large transform fault in which two tectonic plates are sliding past each other.  It is smilar is size to the San Andreas Fault.  Both are also boundaries near a continental margin (Black Sea and Pacific Ocean).  Note that both the Salton Sea and the Marmara Sea near Istanbul are extensional basins where the crust is being pull apart. Source: USGS, 2000.
 

Over the last 60 years, the North Anatolian Fault has ruptured in a series of destructive earthquakes with an overall propagation from east to west. The Marmara Sea is the only major gap along the North Anatolian Fault.