Notes on the ML 7.8 Earthquake in Turkey

Wickersham's Conscience

The most powerful earthquake to strike Turkey in the last hundred years has caused incredible damage and loss of life in southern Turkey and Syria. It’s instructive to look at the underlying geology, because it has important lessons for folks living along the San Andreas Fault.

The earthquake and aftershocks are along the East Anatolian Fault, which is the geologic boundary between the Arabian Plate and the comparatively small Anatolian Plate.

Map showing main tectonic structures around the Anatolian Plate on a base taken from a snapshot from Nasa’s World Wind software. Arrows show displacement vectors of the Anatolian and Arabian Plates relative to the Eurasian Plate. The locations of the various structures were taken from many published maps. (Map by Mike Norton, via Wikicommons)

As the Anatolian Plate is squeezed between the northwesterly motion of the Arabian Plate and the Eurasian Plate, that Anatolian – which is most of…

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