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Multi-disciplinary earthquake researches in Western Turkey: Hints to select sites to study geochemical transients associated to seismicity

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Warm and hot spring water as well as soil gas radon release patterns have been monitored in the Aegean Extensional Province of Western Turkey, alongside regional seismic events, providing a multidisciplinary approach. In the study period of 20 months, seven moderate earthquakes with ML between 4.0 and 4.7 occurred in this seismically very active region; two earthquakes with magnitude 5.0 also occurred near the study area. Seismic monitoring showed no foreshock activity. By contrast, hydro-geochemical anomalies were found prior to these seismic events, each lasting for weeks. The anomalies occurred foremost in conjunction with dip-slip events and seem to support the dilatancy and water diffusion hypothesis. Increased soil gas radon release was recorded before earthquakes associated with strike-slip faults, but no soil radon anomalies were seen before earthquakes associated with dip-slip faults. Geochemical anomalies were also noticeably absent at some springs throughout the postulated deformation zones of impending earthquakes. The reason for this discrepancy might be due to stress/strain anisotropies.
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