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LOCAL SITE CONDITIONS INFLUENCING EARTHQUAKE INTENSITIES AND SECONDARY COLLATERAL IMPACTS IN THE SEA OF MARMARA REGION - Application of Standardized Remote Sensing and GIS-Methods in Detecting Potentially Vulnerable Areas to Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Other Hazards.

Author(s): George Pararas-Carayannis | Barbara Theilen-Willige | Helmut Wenzel

Journal: Science of Tsunami Hazards
ISSN 8755-6839

Volume: 30;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 63;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Sea of Marmara | Bosporus | Dardanelles | 1999 Izmit earthquake | tsunami | landslides | remote sensing | GIS methods | Digital Elevation Model | Shuttle Radar Topography

The destructive earthquake that struck near the Gulf of Izmit along the North Anatolian fault in Northwest Turkey on August 17, 1999, not only generated a local tsunami that was destructive at Golcuk and other coastal cities in the eastern portion of the enclosed Sea of Marmara, but was also responsible for extensive damage from collateral hazards such as subsidence, landslides, ground liquefaction, soil amplifications, compaction and underwater slumping of unconsolidated sediments. This disaster brought attention in the need to identify in this highly populated region, local conditions that enhance earthquake intensities, tsunami run-up and other collateral disaster impacts. The focus of the present study is to illustrate briefly how standardized remote sensing techniques and GIS-methods can help detect areas that are potentially vulnerable, so that disaster mitigation strategies can be implemented more effectively. Apparently, local site conditions exacerbate earthquake intensities and collateral disaster destruction in the Marmara Sea region. However, using remote sensing data, the causal factors can be determined systematically. With proper evaluation of satellite imageries and digital topographic data, specific geomorphologic/topographic settings that enhance disaster impacts can be identified. With a systematic GIS approach - based on Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data - geomorphometric parameters that influence the local site conditions can be determined. Digital elevation data, such as SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, with 90m spatial resolution) and ASTER-data with 30m resolution, interpolated up to 15 m) is readily available. Areas with the steepest slopes can be identified from slope gradient maps. Areas with highest curvatures susceptible to landslides can be identified from curvature maps. Coastal areas below the 10 m elevation susceptible to tsunami inundation can be clearly delineated. Height level maps can also help locate topographic depressions, filled with recently formed sediments, which are often linked with higher groundwater tables. Such areas are particularly susceptible to higher earthquake intensities and damage. The sum of risk GIS factors increases the susceptibility of local soils in amplifying seismic ground motions. Areas most susceptible to higher earthquake impacts can be identified using a systematic GIS approach, the weighted–overlay-method implemented in ArcGIS. Finally, the data obtained by remote sensing can be converted into Google Earth-kml-format and become available at no cost, to raise public disaster awareness and preparedness in the Sea of Marmara region.
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