The Project on the “Determination of Seismicity and Active Tectonic Characteristics of Faults in Kuşadası Bay with High Resolution Seafloor Measurements” conducted by Istanbul Technical University under the coordination of (TÜBİTAK MAM) kicked off.

The project aims to investigate the characteristics and active tectonic properties of faults stretching from land to the Kuşadası Bay, to collect high resolution bathymetric and geophysical datasets and to determine the geological traces of past earthquakes on these faults at the seafloor with core samples. As part of the project, the 1st research expedition will include 10 research specialists from TÜBİTAK MAM Environment and Cleaner Production Institute (ÇTÜE), Dokuz Eylül University (DEU), Istanbul University (İÜ), AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) and SHOD (Turkish Naval Forces Office Of Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanography) and 12 crew from TÜBİTAK MAM ÇTÜE.

Equipped with advanced devices, TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Vessel is able to fix itself at a determined point in the sea owing to its “Dynamic Positioning System”. This capability makes it possible to collect core samples from targeted points at the seafloor and get sediment samples at certain depths of the seafloor. TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Vessel, which was designed as an oceanographic ship and took part in projects supported by many public institutions and organizations especially the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, started its geophysical and geological studies with the Project “Pre-Drilling Sea Measurements (Site Survey) for Gürpınar1 Well” conducted by Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), and carried out oceanographic measurements (temperature/salinity, conductivity, meteorological measurements, current measurements, sampling of sea water column and surface) and geophysical measurements (seafloor mapping, seafloor acoustic imaging, seabed cross section imaging and seafloor core sampling). Besides, the unmanned underwater vehicle (ROV) designed and developed by TÜBİTAK researchers made it possible to access depths down to 1000 meters from the sea surface, to view the seafloor, take samples and reach sunken objects.

In the field of earthquake research, TÜBİTAK MAM has been working on observing regional active faults, earthquake activities and crustal deformations, and investigating crustal structures with Turkish universities, AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency), Kandilli Observatory and foreign partners within the scope of EU projects as part of various joint projects in Marmara, Aegean and Eastern Anatolia regions for many years. Earthquake Hazard Assessment projects have been carried out in some of our provinces (Yalova, Kocaeli, Bursa, Balıkesir and Istanbul) with the support of our metropolitan municipalities in the Marmara Region to mitigate earthquake damage. In addition, studies are carried out to examine the seismic activities and crustal deformations caused by active faults and historical earthquakes with geological, geophysical, geomorphological and paleoseismological methods. Currently, TÜBİTAK MAM carries out projects on mitigating earthquake damage, monitoring aftershocks closely after major earthquakes, identifying fault systems in detail and revealing mechanisms of fault systems with potentials of triggering neighboring faults or creating stress distributions. Under TÜBİTAK MAM, the Accelerated Mass Spectrometry (AMS) laboratory, which can provide the most critical information in determining the age of geological formations and artifacts by Carbon-14 dating, has been serving national and international institutions since 2016.

DEU, IU and METU have allocated their own geophysical equipment for the geophysical studies to be carried out in the 1st expedition of the Project on the “Determination of Seismicity and Active Tectonic Characteristics of Faults in Kuşadası Bay with High Resolution Seafloor Measurements”. SHOD shared the oceanographic data collected in the region with the project working group. This is the first national marine research project in both national and international waters of the Aegean Sea to be carried out with fully national support and jointly by Turkish researchers and institutions.

Studies that are expected to reveal further significant scientific results upon the processing of the collected data after the expedition will be followed up with daily activity reports, and developments will be shared with the public through corporate communication channels.

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