STS099-729-28
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Image Caption: Izmit, Turkey -- Earthquake Fault
In August and again in November, 1999, strong earthquakes rocked the
city of Izmit at the head of the Gulf of Izmit (lighter ground at far
right edge of frame). The fault that ruptured during those events forms
the sharp, straight, southern Gulf shoreline. Another active fault
defines the southeastern shore of Lake Iznik. Magnitudes
were M 7.4 and M 7.1, respectively, and horizontal displacements ranged
from 1.5 to 5 m.

The East Anatolian fault zone, of which the Izmit fault is part, marks
the boundary between the Eurasian and Arabian tectonic plates. Most of
Turkey is on the Arabian plate and is moving westward with respect to
the Black Sea and the rest of Eurasia. This region is one of high
seismicity; during historic times, earthquake foci have been moving
progressively westward, increasing the risk to population centers such
as Istanbul (center of view).