Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 909–923 | Cite as

Evaluation of relative tectonic activity along the Priene-Sazlı Fault (Söke Basin, southwest Anatolia): Insights from geomorphic indices and drainage analysis

  • Savaş TopalEmail author


The West Anatolia Extensional Zone, which has a width of about 300 km, is located within the Alpine-Himalayan belt and is one of the regions with intense seismic activity in the world. The most important geomorphological structures in this area are three main graben structures resulting from regional N-S extension since the Early Miocene. These structures are the E-W trending Büyük Menderes, Küçük Menderes, and Gediz grabens. Söke Basin is located at the SW end of the Büyük Menderes graben. The lineaments which control the NW of Söke Basin have a length of approximately 40 km and have been defined as the Priene-Sazli Fault (PSF). The PSF is seismically active, and the last large earthquake (the Söke-Balat earthquake; Ms: 6.8) was produced on July 16th of 1955. The ancient city of Priene, which was located in the study area, suffered from destructive earthquakes (in the 4th century and 2nd century BC, in the 2nd century AD, during the Byzantine period and after the 12th century BC). This study aims to reveal the effect of the PSF on the morphotectonic evolution of the region and the relative tectonic activity of the fault. To this end, it was the first time the stream length gradient index (SL: 130–1303), mountain-front sinuosity (Smf: 1.15–1.96), valley floor height and valley width ratio (Vf: 0.27–1.66), drainage basin asymmetry (AF: 0.15–0.76), hypsometric curve (HC) and hypsometric integral (HI: 0.22–0.86) and basin shape index (Bs: 1.04–5.75) along the mountain front that is formed by the PSF. Using a combination of the mountain-front sinuosity (Smf), valley floor height and valley width ratio (Vf), it is found that the uplift ratio in the region is not less than 0.05 mm/yr and the relative tectonic activity of PSF is high. According to the relative tectonic activity index (Iat) obtained from geomorphic indices, the southwest part of the PSF is relatively more active than the northeast part. As a result, I posit that the PSF has the potential to produce earthquakes in the future similarly to those that were produced in the past, and that the most destructive earthquakes will likely occur on the southwest segments of the fault according to geomorphic indices.


Geomorphic indices Tectonic activity Earthquake Priene-Sazlı Fault Söke basin Western Anatolia 


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The author wishes to express his kind regards to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sefer Beran Çelik, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fatih Dikbas and Dr. Aaron Bufe for their help in the English language editing. The author also gratefully acknowledges the constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement by reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geological EngineeringPamukkale UniversityDenizliTurkey

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