Earthquake Traces Found in Aydın Also Threaten Izmir

Earthquake Traces Found in Aydın Also Threaten Izmir
Earthquake Traces Found in Aydın Also Threaten Izmir

📩 30/10/2023 10:56

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality's efforts to make the city resistant to possible earthquakes have extended to Aydın. Experts, who have taken more than 90 samples from approximately 140 trenches so far, obtained geological evidence of two earthquakes in the trench they dug in Söke to investigate traces of old earthquakes. After examining the examples, earthquake-resistant zones of Izmir and many cities in the Aegean Region will be determined.

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, which initiated Turkey's most comprehensive earthquake research and risk reduction projects, continues its seismicity research on land and sea, along with its building inventory and ground studies. The seismicity research, in which faults and tsunamis were examined in an area with a radius of 100 kilometers, extended to the surrounding provinces. A trench was opened in Aydın's Söke district to investigate the old earthquake traces.

The potential of faults to produce earthquakes will be determined

Eskişehir Osmangazi University, Department of Geological Engineering, Head of General Geology Department, Prof. Dr. Erhan Altunel said that they are working on all active faults mapped by the General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) within a 100 kilometer radius of Izmir. Providing information about the work they carried out in the trench opened in Söke Gülbahçe village, Erhan Altunel said, “In young collapses, that is, when we go back 10 thousand years from today, we examine if there are faults cutting them in such collapses. We take samples from the trenches where we see faults to date historical earthquakes. The number of samples we have taken so far from the trenches we have opened and found faults in is more than 140. We sent these samples for age analysis. "When the age analysis comes, we will have information about which fault produced an earthquake of which magnitude and when," he said.

Investigation on the fault line in Söke

Emphasizing that the Büyük Menderes fault zone is located approximately 15 kilometers southwest of Söke, Altunel said, “This is a fault zone that is effective in the formation of the Büyük Menderes Plain. Our team, which maps active faults, finds that fault and says 'There is an active fault here'. We use the maps made by the team to determine suitable places for trenching. We are in one of those places right now. Based on our observations on the maps made by the active fault mapping team, we found that trenching was appropriate here. There was an earthquake of magnitude 1955 here in 6.8. One of our goals is to understand whether that earthquake caused a surface rupture. "We also want to understand whether there was a major earthquake on this fault before that earthquake or whether a surface rupture occurred," he said.

“It is important not only for Izmir but also for the surrounding provinces”

Explaining that they identified a fault in the opened trench, Prof. Dr. Erhan Altunel said: “There are two faults in the trench we opened here, cutting the units we see now. This means that there was an earthquake that created two surface ruptures here. We take samples to understand the dates of those earthquakes. “We will make an evaluation based on the results of these samples.” Explaining that the studies carried out include not only Izmir but also the surrounding provinces, Prof. Dr. Erhan Altunel said, “A magnitude 7 earthquake affects an area of ​​approximately 30-40 thousand square kilometers. Although this study seems to be a study of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, it is actually very important for Söke, Aydın, Muğla and Manisa. "When an earthquake occurs on this fault, it will also affect the surrounding provinces," he said.

“Security first, then other services”

Emphasizing that the best service an administrator can provide to his people is to ensure their security, Altunel said, “First security, then other services. With these studies, we will understand the fault's earthquake-producing potential. Does this fault have the potential to create a fracture on the surface and harm people? We are investigating this. Is there a danger, what are its dimensions, how large an area does it affect when it occurs? We reveal these. Authorities try to take the necessary precautions by using this information. They shape the superstructure accordingly. If all these studies were taken into consideration and steps were taken accordingly, there would be neither such loss of life nor material loss. "We will get through the incident without anyone's nose bleeding," he said.

There is difficulty in obtaining permission

Prof. Dr. Erhan Altunel also explained that they had difficulty in obtaining permission for trench opening while carrying out the works and said: “There are key places when we carry out such works. We have to get permission to excavate. However, we are having trouble getting permission. "Our citizens and relevant institutions should be more sensitive about such studies."

Important findings were obtained

Istanbul Technical University Geological Engineering Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Serdar Akyüz said that they found geological evidence of two historical earthquakes in the trench they opened in Söke. Akyüz said, “These are proof that these earthquakes reach the surface. Thanks to our research, we will have information about the earthquakes that occurred in the past. We can tell the magnitude of earthquakes according to the length of the fault on the surface and the amount of this displacement. At the end of these studies, we will be able to estimate the magnitude of the earthquake in the past. "We will have information about the earthquakes they will produce in the future," he said.

“All risky fault lines are being examined”

Mesut Özdemir, a geological engineer working at the Department of Earthquake Risk Management and Urban Improvement of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, said, “With this project, we are carrying out our paleoseismological studies in an area with a radius of approximately 100 kilometers, taking the center of Izmir as a reference. In these studies, we aim to investigate all active faults that may pose a risk for Izmir. "Our only goal is to create a city that is more resilient to natural disasters and earthquakes," he said.

“No local government has such a study”

Söke Municipality Planning and Urbanization Manager Yüksel Ertercan stated that they were happy to carry out such a study and said: “These studies are very important for our region. No local government has such a study. “I would like to thank those who contributed to this work carried out by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality.”

“We will leave a worry-free future to our children.”

Güllübahçe District Headman Yusuf Çam said: “I was very excited months ago when friends from Izmir Metropolitan Municipality said they wanted to carry out this study. Because Türkiye is generally on the fault line. Güllübahçe is such a place. I wish it didn't happen, but we have to accept the reality of the earthquake and produce solutions for it. I would like to thank Izmir Metropolitan Municipality for carrying out such a study. Let's pave the way for these friends. Let's make it easier to work. These are of great benefit to our region. Because we will leave a future for our children where they can live without worries.”