A recent analysis by South Korean researchers has shown that the land in Turkey's northwest moved southwest and the land in the southeast moved northeast following the massive earthquake in February. The researchers at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) have attributed the displacement, which reached up to 6.6 meters, to a left-lateral displacement caused by the movement of faults along the boundary of the tectonic plates.
The team of South Korean researchers at KIGAM led by Director Song Seok-gu published a report titled “KIGAM Overseas Earthquake Research Status” on Thursday. Their findings were based on remote sensing techniques, utilizing data from the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites, which have a spatial resolution of approximately four meters.
The earthquake, which occurred in Turkey in February, was of a magnitude of 7.8. Turkey is located on the Anatolian Plate, with the North Anatolian Fault adjoined with the Eurasian Plate, and the East Anatolian Plate with the Arabian Tectonic Plate. The earthquake hit those two major faults. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the seismic event in Turkey triggered surface ruptures that span over 470 kilometers.
Surface ruptures occur when the movement of tectonic plates causes a fault to be exposed on the surface. These are typically seen in earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.0 or higher. The KIGAM research team found that the maximum horizontal displacement caused by the surface ruptures was around 3.8 meters in the southern region of the East Anatolian Fault and up to 5.7 meters in the northern part. The research team noted that their findings were consistent with those of international research teams.