Seismic b-Values, Bouguer Gravity and Heat Flow Data Beneath Eastern Anatolia, Turkey: Tectonic Implications
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In this paper, we analyze the relationships between the seismic b-values, Bouguer gravity and heat flow data in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. For this purpose, spatial distributions of b-value, Bouguer gravity and heat flow have been presented for different depths and locations. In distinction to previous studies which have used only two parameters (gravity and seismic b-value or heat flow and seismic b-value), we have combined seismic b-values, Bouguer gravity and heat flow data to determine the new results on the active tectonics of the Eastern Anatolia region. Our analysis shows that there are significant and robust correlations amidst the heat flow data, Bouguer gravity anomaly and seismic b-values. The crustal structure is thick in areas where the large negative gravity anomalies and low b-values are observed. On the contrary, the regions with positive gravity anomalies and high b-values are likely to be associated with magma chambers or crustal low-velocity zones. We also provide some evidence suggesting that high b-values and high heat flow values can be related to the magmatic activities beneath the volcanic chain in the Eastern Pontide orogenic belt. Consequently, we have reached some conclusions for the Eastern Anatolia region: (1) The Moho to surface is rather thick and earthquakes are relatively smaller beneath the volcanic chain where the high heat flow values are observed, (2) a southward subduction model could have existed for the development of the Pontides during the late Mesozoic-Cenozoic era, (3) hot and unstable mantle lid zones or a lithosphere deprived of mantle under the study region is much more plausible, (4) a southward movement of the subduction plate and a northward extension of the Black Sea increase the state of stress along the trench axis and decrease the b-value, and (5) these movements may load the stress energy to the fault zones, thereby causing the catastrophic earthquakes in the Eastern Anatolia region.