New active faults on Eurasian-Arabian collision zone: Tectonic activity of Özyurt and Gülsünler faults (Eastern Anatolian Plateau, Van-Turkey)


  • S. DICLE Yüzüncü Yıl University, Institute of Science Zeve Campus, 65080, Van-Turkey.
  • S. ÜNER Yüzüncü Yıl University, Department of Geological Engineering Zeve Campus, 65080, Van-Turkey.



Lake Van Basin, Eastern Anatolia Plateau, compressional tectonics, kinematic analysis, Quaternary faults


The Eastern Anatolian Plateau emerges from the continental collision between Arabian and Eurasian plates where intense seismicity related to the ongoing convergence characterizes the southern part of the plateau. Active deformation in this zone is shared by mainly thrust and strike-slip faults. The Özyurt thrust fault and the Gülsünler sinistral strike-slip fault are newly determined fault zones, located to the north of Van city centre. Different types of faults such as thrust, normal and strike-slip faults are observed on the quarry wall excavated in Quaternary lacustrine deposits at the intersection zone of these two faults. Kinematic analysis of fault-slip data has revealed coeval activities of transtensional and compressional structures for the Lake Van Basin. Seismological and geomorphological characteristics of these faults demonstrate the capability of devastating earthquakes for the area.


Acarlar, M., Bilgin, A.Z., Elibol, E., Erkan, T., Gedik, İ., Güner, E., Hakyemez, Y., Şen, A.M., Uğuz, M.F., Umut, M., 1991. Geology of the eastern and northern part of Lake Van. The Mineral Research and Exploration Institute of Turkey (MTA) Technical Report Nr. 9469.

AFAD, 2011. Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, Van Earthquake Report. Website:

Altıner, Y., Söhne, W., Güney, C., Perlt, J., Wang, R., Muzli, M., 2013. A geodetic study of the 23 October 2011 Van, Turkey earthquake. Tectonophysics, 588, 118-134.

Ambraseys, N.N., 1988. Engineering seismology. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, 17, 1-105.

Ambraseys, N.N., Finkel, C.F., 1995. The seismicity of Turkey and adjacent Areas: A historical review, 1500–1800. İstanbulTurkey, Eren Publishers, 240pp.

Aydar, E., Gourgaud, A., Ulusoy, İ., Digonnet, F., Labazuy, P., Şen, E., Bayhan, H., Kurttaş¸ T., Tolluoğlu, A.Ü., 2003. Morphological analysis of active Mount Nemrut stratovolcano, eastern Turkey: evidences and possible impact areas of future eruption. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 123, 301-312.

Çukur, D., Krastel, S., Tomonaga, Y., Schmincke, H.U., Sumita, M., Meydan, A.F., Çağatay, M.N., Toker, M., Kim, S.P., Kong, G.S., Horozal, S., 2016. Structural characteristics of the Lake Van Basin, eastern Turkey, from high-resolution seismic reflection profiles and multibeam echosounder data: geologic and tectonic implications. International Journal of Earth Sciences (Geologische Rundschau), 106(1), 239-253. DOI: 10.1007/s00531-016-1312-5

Degens, E.T., Wong, H.K., Kempe, S., Kurtman, F., 1984. A geological study of Lake Van, eastern Turkey. International Journal of Earth Sciences (Geologische Rundschau), 73(2), 701-734.

Delvaux, D., Sperner, B., 2003. Stress tensor inversion from fault kinematic indicators and focal mechanism data: the TENSOR program. In: Nieuwland, D. (ed.). New Insights into Structural

Interpretation and Modelling. London, Geological Society, 212 (Special Publications), 75-100.

Delvaux, D., Moeys, R., Stapel, G., Petit, C., Levi, K., Miroshnichenko, A., Ruzheich, V., Sankov, V., 1997. Palaeostress reconstruction and geodynamics of the Baikal region, Central Asia, Part 2. Cenozoic rifting. Tectonophysics, 282, 1-38.

Dewey, J.F., Hempton, M.R., Kidd, W.S.F., Şaroğlu, F., Şengör, A.M.C., 1986. Shortening of continental lithosphere: the neotectonics of Eastern Anatolia – a young collision zone. London, Geological Society, 19 (Special Publications), 3-36.

Di Sarno, L., Yenidoğan, C., Erdik, M., 2013. Field evidence and numerical investigation of the Mw= 7.1 October 23 Van, Tabanlı and the Mw> 5.7 November earthquakes of 2011. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 11, 313-346.

Doğan, B., Karakaş, A., 2013. Geometry of co-seismic surface ruptures and tectonic meaning of the 23 October 2011 Mw 7.1 Van earthquake (East Anatolian Region, Turkey). Journal of Structural Geology, 46, 99-114.

Dooley, T.P., Schreurs, G., 2012. Analogue modelling of intraplate strike-slip tectonics: A review and new experimental results. Tectonophysics, 574-575, 1-71.

Ergin, K., Güçlü, U., Uz, Z., 1967. Earthquake Catalog for Turkey and surrounding area (AD. 11-1964). İstanbul Technical University, Geophysical Institute Publications, 28, 169pp.

Eyidoğan, H., Utku, Z., Güçlü, U., Değirmenci, E., 1991. Seismic Guide of Major Earthquakes of Turkey (1900-1988). İstanbul University, İstanbul, Department of Geophysical Engineering Publications, 198pp.

Fielding, E.J., Lundgren, P.R., Taymaz, T., Yolsal-Çevikbilen, S., Owen, S.E., 2013. Fault-Slip Source Models for the 2011 Mw 7.1 Van Earthquake in Turkey from SAR Interferometry, Pixel Offset Tracking, GPS, and Seismic Waveform Analysis. Seismological Research Letters, 84(4), 579-593.

Irmak, T.S., Doğan, B., Karakaş, A., 2012. Source mechanism of the 23 October, 2011, Van (Turkey) earthquake (Mw=7.1) and aftershocks with its tectonic implications. Earth Planets Space, 64, 991-1003.

Karaoğlu, Ö., Özdemir, Y., Tolluoğlu, A.Ü., Karabıyıkoğlu, M., Köse, O., Froger, J.F., 2005. Stratigraphy of the volcanic products around Nemrut Caldera: implications for reconstruction of the caldera formation. Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences, 14, 123-143.

Keskin, M., Pearce, J.A., Mitchell, J.G., 1998. Volcanostratigraphy and geochemistry of collision-related volcanism on the Erzurum-Kars Plateau, North Eastern Turkey. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 85, 355-404.

Koçyiğit, A., 2013. New field and seismic data about the intraplate strike-slip deformation in Van region, East Anatolian plateau, E. Turkey, Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 62, 586-605.

Koçyiğit, A., Yılmaz, A., Adamia, S., Kuloshvili, S., 2001. Neotectonic of East Anatolian Plateau (Turkey) and Lesser Caucasus: implication for transition from thrusting to strikeslip faulting. Geodinamica Acta, 14, 177-195.

KOERI, 2016. Boğaziçi University, Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, National Earthquake Monitoring Center. Website: Last accessed: 15.03.2016.

Mackenzie, D., Elliott, J.R., Altunel, E., Walker, R.T., Kurban, Y.C., Schwenninger, J.L., Parson, B., 2016. Seismotectonics and rupture process of the Mw 7.1 2011 Van reverse-faulting earthquake, Eastern Turkey, and implications for hazard in regions of distributed shortening. Geophysical Journal International, 206(1), 501-524. DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggw158

Mann, P., 2007. Global Catalogue, Classification and Tectonic Origins of Restraining- and Releasing Bends on Active and Ancient Strike-Slip Fault Systems. London, Geological Society, 290(1, Special Publications), 13-142.

Oberhänslı, R., Candan, O., Bousquet, R., Rımmele, G., Okay, A., Goff, J., 2010. Alpine high pressure evolution of the eastern Bitlis complex, SE Turkey. In: Sosson, M., Kaymakci, N., Stephenson, R.A., Bergerat, F., Starostenko, V. (eds). Sedimentary Basin Tectonics from the Black Sea and Caucasus to the Arabian Platform. London, Geological Society, 340 (Special Publications), 461-483.

Okuldaş, C., Üner, S., 2013. Geomorphological Properties and Tectonic Activity of Alaköy Fault (Lake Van Basin–Eastern Anatolia). Bulletin for Earth Sciences, 34(3), 161-176.

Özdemir, Y., Karaoğlu, Ö., Tolluoğlu, A.Ü., Güleç¸ N., 2006. Volcanostratigraphy and petrogenesis of the Nemrut stratovolcano (East Anatolian High Plateau): The most recent post-collisional volcanism in Turkey. Chemical Geology, 226, 189-211.

Özkaymak, Ç., Sözbilir, H., Bozkurt, E., Dirik, K., Topal, T., Alan, H., Çağlan, D., 2011. Seismic Geomorphology of October 23, 2011 Tabanlı-Van Earthquake and Its Relation to Active Tectonics of East Anatolia. Journal of Geological Engineering, 35(2), 175-199.

Pınar, N., Lahn, E., 1952. Turkish Earthquake Catalog with Discriptions. Technical Report, Turkey. The Ministry of Public Works and Settlement. The General Directorate of Construction Affairs, Serial 6, 36, 153pp.

Selçuk, L., Sağlam Selçuk, A., Beyaz, T., 2010. Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for Lake Van basin, Turkey. Natural Hazards, 54, 949-965.

Soysal, H., Sipahioğlu, S., Kolçak, D., Altınok, Y., 1981. Earthquake Catalog for Turkey and surrounding area (2100 B.C.–1900 A.D.). The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Report Nr: TBAG-341, 86pp.

Stockhecke, M., Kwiecien, O., Vigliotti, L., Anselmetti, F.S., Beer, J., Çağatay, M.N., Channell, J.E.T., Kipfer, R., Lachner, J., Litt, T., Pickarski, N., Sturm, M., 2014. Chronostratigraphy of the 600,000 year old continental record of Lake Van (Turkey). Quaternary Science Reviews, 104, 8-17.

Sylvester, A.G., 1988. Strike-slip faults. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 100, 1666-1703.

Şaroğlu, F., Güner, Y., 1979. The active Tutak fault, its characteristics and relations to the Çaldıran Fault. Yeryuvarı ve İnsan, 4, 11-14.

Şaroğlu, F., Yılmaz, Y., 1987. Geological evolution and basin models during neotectonic episode in the eastern Anatolia. Bulletin of the Mineral Research and Explortion, 107, 61-83.

Şenel, M., 2008. Scaled Geological Maps of Turkey (Van–K50 Quadrangle). 1:100,000. Ankara (Turkey), Publication of General Directorate of Mineral Research. Şengör, A.M.C., Görür, N., Şaroğlu, F., 1985. Strike-slip faulting and related basin formation in zones of tectonic escape:

Turkey as a case study. In: Biddle, K.T., Christie-Blick, N. (eds.). Strike-slip Faulting and Basin Formation. Society of Economic Paleontologist and Minerologists, 37 (Special Publications), 227-264.

Şengör, A.M.C., Kidd, W.S.F., 1979. The post-collisional tectonics of the Turkish-Iranian Plateau and a comparison with Tibet. Tectonophysics, 55, 361-376.

Şengör, A.M.C., Yılmaz, Y., 1981. Tethyan evolution of Turkey: a plate tectonic approach. Tectonophysics, 75(1981), 181-241.

Tan, O., Tapırdamaz, M.C., Yörük, A., 2008. The Earthquakes Catalogues for Turkey. Turkish Journal of Earth Science, 17, 405-418.

Utkucu, M., Durmuş¸ H., Yalçın, H., Budakoğlu, E., Işık, E., 2013. Coulomb static stress changes before and after the 23 October 2011 Van, eastern Turkey, earthquake (MW = 7.1): implications for the earthquake hazard mitigation. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 13, 1889-1902.

Van der Pluijm, B.A., Marshak, S., 2004. Earth Structure an Introduction to Structural Geology and Tectonics. New York, W.W. Norton & Company, 656pp.

Yılmaz, A., Yılmaz, H., 2013. Ophiolites and Ophiolitic Melanges of Turkey: A Review. Geological Bulletin of Turkey, 56(2), 61-114.

Yılmaz, A., Yılmaz, H., Kaya, C., Boztuğ, D., 2010. Nature of the Crustal Structure of the Eastern Anatolian Plateau, Turkey. Geodinamica Acta, 23(4), 167-183.

Yılmaz, Y., Şaroğlu, F., Güner, Y., 1987. Initiation of the neomagmatism in East Anatolia. Tectonophsics, 137, 177-199.

Yılmaz, Y., Güner, Y., Şaroğlu, F., 1998. Geology of the quaternary volcanic centers of the east Anatolia. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 85, 173-210.

Zhao, G., Wang, L., Chen, X., Tang, J., Wan, Z., Zhan, Y., Xiao, Q., Cai, J., Zhang, J., Wang, J., 2010. The active fault belts in eastern Tibet margin inferred using magnetotellurics. Geologica Acta, 8(1), 99-110.