Liquefaction ground deformations and cascading coastal flood hazard in the 2023 Kahramanmaraş earthquake sequence

Bassal P., Papageorgiou E., Moug D. M., Bray J. D., ÇETİN K. Ö., Şahin A., ...More

Earthquake Spectra, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/87552930241247830
  • Journal Name: Earthquake Spectra
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Geobase, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: coastal storm surge, Earthquake, flooding, InSAR, lateral spreading, liquefaction, multi-hazard performance, remote sensing, subsidence
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The 2023 Kahramanmaraş earthquake sequence produced extensive liquefaction-induced ground deformations and ongoing flooding along the shoreline of the Mediterranean port city of İskenderun, Türkiye. This study compiles field observations and analyses from cross-disciplinary perspectives to investigate whether earthquake-induced liquefaction was a significant factor for increasing the flood hazard in İskenderun. Geotechnical reconnaissance observations following the earthquakes included seaward lateral spreading, settlement beneath buildings, and failures of coastal infrastructure. Three presented lateral spreading case histories indicate consistent ground deformation patterns with areas of reclaimed land. Persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI) measurements from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery identify a noticeably greater rate of pre- and post-earthquake subsidence within the İskenderun coastal and urban areas relative to the surrounding regions. The PSI measurements also indicate subsidence rates accelerated following the earthquakes and were typically highest near the observed liquefaction manifestations. These evaluations suggest that while the liquefaction of coastal reclaimed fill caused significant ground deformations in the shoreline area, ongoing subsidence of İskenderun and other factors likely also exacerbated the flood hazard. Insights from this work suggest the importance of evaluating multi-hazard liquefaction and flood consequences for enhancing the resilience of coastal cities.