The evolution of restraining and releasing bend pairs: analogue
modelling investigation and application to the Sea of Marmara
In spite of many specific studies focussing on the Sea of Marmara
segment of the North Anatolian Fault (NAF), its deformation and stress
accumulation pattern remain difficult to understand. In part this is due
to the complexity of the transform fault system which here combines a
releasing and restraining bend. In this study, we use analogue modelling
to reproduce and monitor the strain patterns across a releasing and
restraining bend pair. We also compare the strain evolution with the
evolution of topographic changes.
The experiments reveal how the master right-lateral strike-slip fault
system and newly formed fault zones change their geometry as
displacement accumulates across a releasing and restraining bend pair.
We find that the master shear zone develops from a single to a
multi-branch fault system, with different branches active and dominant
at different times. Comparison with the tectonic setting of the Sea of
Marmara suggests that the western portion of the basin may be
characterized by a fault shortcut associated with both a compressional
regime and uplift of the Ganos Mountain.