METU Bilim-2 Ship to Investigate the Impact of Kahramanmaras Earthquakes in the Mediterranean
METU Bilim-2 ship sets sail to investigate the effects of the 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes that occurred on 6 February 2023 in the Mediterranean.
Various scientific studies are being conducted on the effects of the 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes in Kahramanmaras. Thanks to these studies, information is collected to predict the risks posed by new earthquakes.
METU Marine Sciences Institute’s research vessel Bilim-2 has completed its preparations to monitor the possible damage to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea and the pressure on the ecosystem caused by the earthquakes that took place on 6 February. With the help of water and sediment core samples to be taken from the sea floor, determinations will be made about the landslides triggered after the earthquake and the destruction on the ecosystem.
Infrastructures, treatment plants and industrial facilities in the cities affected by the earthquake were damaged. The effect of this situation on pollution in the sea will be observed. Stations were established in front of the Asi River and Samandag. Marine pollution will be monitored during the expeditions of the Bilim-2 ship in March, June and August.
Underwater Landslides to be Examined
METU Marine Sciences Institute Deputy Director Assoc. Dr. Mustafa Yücel reminded that the information that the earthquake caused a tsunami of small amplitude, although not very large, was reflected in the reports, and accordingly the dimensions of the tsunami were also measured in Erdemli and on the coasts of Cyprus.
Stating that the tsunami generation mechanism created by earthquakes on land is through underwater landslides, Yücel gave the following information about the works they will carry out in the Mediterranean:
“If an earthquake on land is close to the shore, it triggers underwater landslides close to that shore. Thus, very large sediment flows that form underwater create tsunami waves. We predict that underwater landslides will occur in certain areas of the Iskenderun Bay and Samandağ coasts. In our sea voyages, we scan the shores very closely. We will determine the location of underwater landslides by means of sea floor studies. We will take sediment core samples from the sea in our studies. We will determine how many kilometers these landslides have moved and which region has been more effective. This is very important data for science.
Our study will be a first in terms of which coastal section and which landslides the earthquake caused. Thus, we will collect information that helps to predict the risks that the next earthquake will create in the seas. In short, we will determine how the earthquake affected the coasts in terms of pollution, and we will determine and explain the underwater landslides triggered by the earthquake. Thus, we will collect information that will help predict the risks that the next possible earthquakes will create in the seas.”