Determination of the tectonic evolution of the Edremit Gulf based on seismic reflection studies

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The Edremit Gulf, which developed during the Neogene-Quaternary, is a seismically active graben in NW Anatolia (Turkey) surrounded by the Sakarya continent. The sedimentary deposits in the gulf overlie the bedrock unconformably and can be separated into two parts as upper and lower deposits based on similarity of their seismic characteristics, and because the contact between them is clear. The lower deposits are characterized in the seismic profiles by the absence of well defined, continuous reflectors and are strongly disturbed by faults. A tectonic map and structural model of the Edremit Gulf was derived from interpreting 21 deep seismic profiles trending NE–SW and NW–SE within the gulf. Two fault systems were distinguished on the basis of this compilation. The NNW–SSE trending parallel faults are low-angle normal faults formed after compression. They controlled and deformed the lower basin deposits. A syncline and anticline with a broad fold-curvature length resulted in folds that developed parallel to basin boundaries in the lower basin deposits. The ENE–WSW trending high-angle faults have controlled and deformed the northern basin of the Edremit Gulf. The folds developed within the northern lower deposits originated from the listric geometry of the faults. These faults are normal faults associated with regional N–S extension in western Anatolia. The Edremit Gulf began to open under the control of low-angle NNW–SSE trending faults that developed after the compression of western Anatolia in an E–W direction in the early Neogene. Subsequently, regional N–S extensional stress and high-angle normal faults cut the previous structures, opened the northern basin, and controlled and deformed the lower basin deposits in the gulf. As a result, the Edremit Gulf has not been controlled by any strike-slip faults or the Northern Anatolian Fault. The basin developed in the two different tectonic regimes of western Anatolia as an Aegean type cross-graben from the Neogene to Holocene.

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