Modeling of a historical earthquake in Erzincan, Turkey (Ms similar to 7.8, in 1939) using regional seismological information obtained from a recent event

Karım Zadeh Naghshıneh S., Askan A.

ACTA GEOPHYSICA, vol.66, pp.293-304, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 66
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11600-018-0147-9
  • Journal Name: ACTA GEOPHYSICA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.293-304
  • Keywords: Historical earthquakes, The 1939 Erzincan (Turkey) earthquake, Ground motion simulation, Felt intensity, Ground motion prediction equations, NORTH ANATOLIAN FAULT, STRONG-GROUND MOTION, STOCHASTIC POINT-SOURCE, GREENS-FUNCTION, SEISMIC HAZARD, STRESS DROP, PULL-APART, SIMULATIONS, BASIN, MAGNITUDE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Located within a basin structure, at the conjunction of North East Anatolian, North Anatolian and Ovacik Faults, Erzincan city center (Turkey) is one of the most hazardous regions in the world. Combination of the seismotectonic and geological settings of the region has resulted in series of significant seismic activities including the 1939 (Ms similar to 7.8) as well as the 1992 (Mw = 6.6) earthquakes. The devastative 1939 earthquake occurred in the pre-instrumental era in the region with no available local seismograms. Thus, a limited number of studies exist on that earthquake. However, the 1992 event, despite the sparse local network at that time, has been studied extensively. This study aims to simulate the 1939 Erzincan earthquake using available regional seismic and geological parameters. Despite several uncertainties involved, such an effort to quantitatively model the 1939 earthquake is promising, given the historical reports of extensive damage and fatalities in the area. The results of this study are expressed in terms of anticipated acceleration time histories at certain locations, spatial distribution of selected ground motion parameters and felt intensity maps in the region. Simulated motions are first compared against empirical ground motion prediction equations derived with both local and global datasets. Next, anticipated intensity maps of the 1939 earthquake are obtained using local correlations between peak ground motion parameters and felt intensity values. Comparisons of the estimated intensity distributions with the corresponding observed intensities indicate a reasonable modeling of the 1939 earthquake.