Tectonic geomorphology of a large normal fault: Aksehir fault, SW Turkey

TOPAL S., Keller E., Bufe A., Kocyigit A.

GEOMORPHOLOGY, vol.259, pp.55-69, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 259
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.01.014
  • Title of Journal : GEOMORPHOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.55-69
  • Keywords: Tectonic geomorphology, Active tectonics, Geomorphic indices, Mountain front facets, ACTIVE TECTONICS, EMPIRICAL RELATIONSHIPS, ISPARTA ANGLE, AFYON GRABEN, SLIP RATES, BASIN, EXAMPLE


In order to better understand the activity of the Aksehir normal fault in SW Turkey and the associated seismic hazard, we investigated the tectonic geomorphology of a 60-km stretch of the 100-km-long Aksehir fault block. The fault can be separated into seven geomorphic segments (1 to 7 from NW to SE) along the mountain front. Segment length varies from about 9 to 14 km, and relief of the horst block varies from about 0.6 km in the SE to 1.0 km in the NW. Analysis of the tectonic geomorphology of 32 drainage basins and mountain front facets using a combination of geomorphic indices reveals a general pattern of high slip rates in the northern and central segments and low slip rates in the southern, probably older, segments. We show that mountain front sinuosity varies from about 1.1 to 1.4 on segments S1-S6 to 2.4 on segment S7, suggesting that the six northern segments are more active than the southernmost segment. Similarly, chi analysis and slope-area analysis of streams reveal a pattern of steepest channels draining the central and northern segments of the horst. The ratio of valley floor width to valley height varies from 0.2 to 0.6, which are typical values for tectonically active mountain fronts; and alluvial fans along segments S1, S2, and S4 are back-tilted. Finally, we show that (1) shapes of the similar to 100-900m high mountain front facets are mostly triangular (similar to 80%) and partly trapezoidal (similar to 20%); (2) facet slopes range from 6 to 22 degrees; (3) facets at the NW and SE segment ends are larger than the intervening facets; and (4) steepest facets occur along the central segments. Uplift rates estimated from the slope of mountain front facets range from about 0.06 m/ky on the southernmost fault segment (S7) to 023 m/ky on the more central S5 and 0.16 m/ky on the northern segment (S1). The estimated pattern of uplift is consistent with the pattern of geomorphic indices. The vertical relief of the facets suggests that uplift of the mountain front initiated in the late Miocene-early Pliocene and continues to the present, with the earliest surface-rupturing faults on the southernmost fault segment (S7).