Investigation of earthquake sequence and stress transfer in the Eastern Anatolia Fault Zone by Coulomb stress analysis

Alkan H., Büyüksaraç A., Bektaş Ö.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, vol.33, no.SI-1, pp.56-68, 2024 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: SI-1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.55730/1300-0985.1898
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Geobase, INSPEC, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.56-68
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


A devastating earthquake with a magnitude of (Mw = 7.7) occurred on February 06, 2023, in the Pazarcık segment of the Eastern Anatolian Fault Zone, which has not shown major earthquake activity for a long time. On the same day, another earthquake with a magnitude of (Mw = 7.6) occurred in Ekinözü-Elbistan (Kahramanmaraş) in the northwest. Three more earthquakes with magnitudes of Mw = 6.6, Mw = 5.9, and ML = 5.7 occurred on the same day, and significant damage, loss of life, and property occurred in 11 provinces and districts. A sixth earthquake occurred with Mw = 6.4 magnitude in Defne-Hatay on February 20, 2023. In addition, more than 32,000 aftershocks were recorded while this study was in progress. The interconnection of these earthquakes was investigated by Coulomb stress analysis. It showed compatibility with the distribution of both these six earthquakes and small aftershocks, in which earthquakes transfer stress to each other during their formation phases. By calculating Coulomb stress changes, mainshock ruptures have played an important role in transferring stresses between Elazığ and Malatya in the northeast, Kahramanmaraş-Göksun in the west, and Hatay and Syria in the south. Also, our calculations showed that shallow depths in and around source zones received positive stress changes (~1.0 bar) due to the focal depths of mainshocks with their aftershocks. Finally, it has been better understood with these earthquakes that the stress transfer time of high-energy earthquakes can be shortened considerably.