Detecting the limit of slab break-off in central Turkey: New high-resolution Pn tomography results

Christine R. Gans, Susan L. Beck, George Zandt, C. Berk Biryol, A. Arda Ozacar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Inversion of Pn traveltime residuals from a 39-station broad-band array provides a high-resolution image of the velocity structure in the uppermost mantle beneath central Turkey. Individually picked Pn phase arrivals from events recorded by the North Anatolian Fault Passive Seismic Experiment and the Kandilli Observatory were combined with additional events associated with the Eastern Turkey Seismic Experiment. Tomography results show no change in Pn velocity across the North Anatolian Fault, although longitudinal variations are evident. A region of very low Pn velocities (<7.8 km s-1) is imaged east of the Central Anatolian Fault Zone (CAFZ), with a transition to faster velocities (>8.1 km s-1) west of the fault. The sharp transition along the CAFZ, which follows the palaeotectonic Inner-Tauride Suture, may represent the location of the edge of the slab window, created when the oceanic slab broke off along the Bitlis-Zagros Suture around 11 Ma, as the Arabian plate collided with the Eurasian plate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1566-1572
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Asia
  • Continental margins: transform
  • Interface waves
  • Seismic tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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