The Science Quiz | The Turkey-Syria earthquakes

Published - February 07, 2024 01:11 pm IST

A woman looks on as she squats with a dog beside houses destroyed by last year’s earthquake, in Hatay, Turkey, February 5, 2024. The magnitude 7.8 tremor that struck in the early hours of February 6, 2023, levelled towns and city swathes in the country’s southeast. It killed more than 53,000 people in Turkey and nearly 6,000 in neighbouring Syria and left millions homeless.

A woman looks on as she squats with a dog beside houses destroyed by last year’s earthquake, in Hatay, Turkey, February 5, 2024. The magnitude 7.8 tremor that struck in the early hours of February 6, 2023, levelled towns and city swathes in the country’s southeast. It killed more than 53,000 people in Turkey and nearly 6,000 in neighbouring Syria and left millions homeless. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Questions:

1. The region where the major earthquakes occurred – straddling a part of Turkey’s south and a part of northwest Syria – is at the junction of three tectonic plates: the _______, the Arabian, and the Anatolian plates. This is called the Maraş  Triple Junction. Fill in the blank.

2. Name the fault that goes from the Maraş Triple Junction to the Karlıova Triple Junction (where the Anatolian, Arabian, and the Eurasian tectonic plates meet). The two deadly earthquakes on February 6 occurred along this fault.

3. Both the major earthquakes were transcurrent-fault quakes, with hypocentres 5-10 km and 5-13 km underground. What is the more common name for a transcurrent fault?

4. The two earthquakes triggered separate aftershock sequences. The second earthquake, measuring 7.7 on the moment magnitude (Mw) scale, had two aftershocks that measured up to 6 on the mB scale. What does mB stand for?

5. On the ________ ________ _________ scale, the Turkey-Syria earthquakes had a maximum intensity of “XII. Extreme” – the highest. This scale is named for a volcanologist and Catholic priest. Fill in the blanks.

Answers:

1. African

2. East Anatolian Fault

3. Strike-slip fault

4. Body-wave magnitude

5. Modified Mercalli intensity scale

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