EMSO-MARMARA, Scientific objectives

The Sea of Marmara is located on the Northern branch of the North Anatolian Fault, which exposes the Metropole of Istanbul to a high probability of a large earthquake (M > 7) (e.g. Aochi et al., 2015; Bulut et al., 2019). The North Anatolian Fault system is a major transform plate boundary, accommodating ≈25 mm/yr of strike-slip motion (Reilinger et al., 2006). Hazard assessment for its marine part is challenging but also presents valuable opportunities for innovation and scientific breakthrough. Remarkably stable P and T conditions at moderate depths enables seafloor geodesy by acoustic methods. Widespread gas emissions make it a choice area for studying the interactions between fluid flow, faults, and seismicity (Geli et al., 2008; Dupré et al., 2015; Ruffine et al., 2015; Henry et al., 2018; Hensen et al., 2019). Moreover, the Sea of Marmara gateway, connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straights, appears in the geological record as highly sensitive to climate and sea-level change (e.g. Çağatay et al., 2009, 2019).

© Ifremer / Stéphanie Dupre

Instrumental deployments at Marmara Site aim at:

  • Developing methods to monitor gas migration in the sediment and emissions in the water column (Tary et al., 2012; Bayrakci et al., 2014)
  • Evaluating interseismic loading rate by seafloor acoustic geodesy (Sakic et al., 2016; Lange et al., 2019).
  • Monitoring microseismicity to understand its relationship with fluid migration (Geli et al., 2018; Tary et al., 2019).
  • Comparing pressure sensor performance and stability for applications in marine geodesy.
  • Monitoring of hydrodynamic perturbations caused by meteorological events and earthquakes to understand the relationships between earthquakes, tsunamis and seismoturbidites (ongoing work within MAREGAMI ANR-TÜBITAK PRCI).