Until the Mw 6.8 Elazığ earthquake ruptured the central portion of the
East Anatolian Fault (EAF) on January 24, 2020, the region had only
experienced moderate magnitude (Mw 6.2) earthquakes over the last
century. Here, we use geodetic data to constrain a model of subsurface
fault slip. We adopt an unregularized Bayesian sampling approach relying
solely on physically justifiable prior information and account for
uncertainties in both the assumed elastic structure and fault geometry.
The rupture of the Elazığ earthquake was bilateral, with two primary
disconnected regions of slip. This rupture pattern may be controlled by
structural complexity. Both the Elazığ and 2010 Mw 6.1 Kovancılar events
ruptured portions of the central EAF that are believed to be coupled
during interseismic periods, and the Palu segment is the last portion of
the EAF showing a large deficit of fault slip which has not yet ruptured
in the last 145 years.