Thursday 29 August 2013

Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake in northwest Turkey.

A Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake at a depth of 10 km occurred in northwest Turkey, roughly 12 km northeast of the town of Biga in Çanakkale Province, slightly after 9.30 am local time (slightly after 6.30 am GMT) on Thursday 29 August 2013, according to the United States Geological Survey. There are no reports of any damage or casualties arising from this quake, though it was moderately large, and is likely to have been felt locally.

The approximate location of the 29 August 2013 Çanakkale Earthquake. Google Maps.

The majority of Asian Turkey lies on the Anatolian Plate, which is being pushed to the west by the northward movement of the Arabian Plate, which is in turn being pushed by the African Plate, further to the south. This creates as zone of faulting along the northern part of Turkey, the North Anatolian Fault Zone, as the Anatolian Plate is pushed past the Eurasian Plate, which underlies the Black Sea and Crimean Peninsula  (transform faulting). This is not a simple process, as the two plates constantly stick together, then break apart as the pressure builds up, leading to Earthquakes, which can be some distance from the actual fault zone.

This northward movement of the African and Arabian Plates also causes folding and uplift in the Caucasus Mountains, which separate Georgia from Russia. Again this is not a smooth process, with the rocks sticking together, then moving sharply as the pressure builds up enough to break them appart, which can also lead to Earthquakes in the region.

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