A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey yesterday killing more than 138 people. It struck in the afternoon, about nine miles northeast of the city of Van, rupturing 12.4 miles underground. University of Florida’s Department of Geological Sciences Associate professor, Ray Russo explains the difference between the earthquake in Turkey versus the previous earthqakes in New Zeland and Japan.
Russo says his research at the University of Florida makes use of these earthqakes to obtain more information about earth’s mantle flow.
The earthquake struck somewhere outside the eastern edge of the Anatolian block, where strike-slip faulting a mechanism where fault systems slide side-to-side when two tectonic plates butt heads is most common. Russo adds, earthqauakes of this magnitude are normal and expected.
Turkey lies in one of the world’s most active seismic zones and is crossed by numerous fault lines. Its unique geographic position causes small earthquakes to occur almost daily.