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7th February 2023 (7 Topics)

Turkey & its relation to earthquakes


Recently, Turkey witnessed a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which is one of the most powerful earthquakes in the past two decades with more than 1,300 people killed and thousands still believed to be trapped under rubble. 

What makes Turkey a hotbed of seismic activity? 

  • Turkey is frequently shaken by earthquakes.
  • Turkey’s proneness to earthquakes comes from its tectonic location.
  • Turkey, a hotbed of seismic activity, sits on the Anatolian Plate, which borders two major faults as it grinds northeast against Eurasia. 

Tectonic plates

  • The Earth’s outermost layer comprises some 15 major slabs, called tectonic plates. 
    • The boundaries between these plates are a system of faults – fractures between two blocks of rocks. Any sudden movement along these faults can cause earthquakes.
  • The North Anatolian fault, traverses the country from west to east, and the East Anatolian fault, rests in the country’s southeastern region.
    • The North Anatolian fault (NAF) line, the meeting point of the Eurasian and Anatolian tectonic plates — is known to be “particularly devastating”. 
  • The NAF, one of the best-understood fault systems in the world, stretches from the south of Istanbul to northeastern Turkey and has caused catastrophic earthquakes in the past. 

About Earthquake

  • An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth‘s lithosphere that creates seismic waves.
  • Earthquake is the form of energy of wave motion transmitted through the surface layer of the earth.
  • It may be due to faulting, folding, plate movement, volcanic eruptions and anthropogenic factors like dams and reservoirs.

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