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The North Anatolian Fault, and slip magnitudes along it of earthquakes in the 20th century

The North Anatolian Fault (NAF) (Turkish: Kuzey Anadolu Fay Hattı) is a major active right lateral-moving geologic fault in northern Anatolia which runs along the tectonic boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Anatolian Plate. The fault extends westward from a junction with the East Anatolian Fault at the Karliova Triple Junction in eastern Turkey, across northern Turkey and into the Aegean Sea. It runs about 20 km south of Istanbul.

Significant earthquakes along the fault

The North Anatolian and neighbouring faults cover most of Turkey

Since the disastrous 1939 Erzincan earthquake, there have been seven earthquakes measuring over 7.0 on the Richter scale, each has happened at a point progressively further west. Seismologists studying this pattern, believe that earthquakes happen in "storms" over a number of decades and that one earthquake triggers the next. By analysing the stresses caused along the fault by each earthquake, they were able to forecast a disturbance that hit the town of İzmit with such devastating effect in August 1999. It is thought that the chain is not complete, and that an earthquake will soon strike further west along the fault - perhaps in the heavily populated city of Istanbul.

Event Moment magnitude Casualties
1939 Erzincan 7.9 32,962 dead
1942 Niksar-Erbaa 6.9
1943 Tosya 7.7
1944 Bolu-Gerede 7.5
1949 Karlıova 7.1
1951 Kurşunlu 6.8
1957 Abant 6.8
1966 Varto 6.9 2,394 dead, 1,489 injured
1967 Mudurnu 7.0
1971 Bingöl 6.8
1992 Erzincan 6.5
1999 İzmit 7.4 17,480 dead and 23,781 injured
1999 Düzce 7.2 894 dead

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