EGU23-17601, updated on 26 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Evidence of Early Supershear Transition in the Mw 7.8 Kahramanmaraş Earthquake From Near-Field Records

Ahmed Elbanna1, Mohamed Abdelmeguid2, and Ares Rosakis3
Ahmed Elbanna et al.
  • 1University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Urbana, United States of America (
  • 2Caltech, Pasadena, CA, United States of America (
  • 3Caltech, Pasadena, CA, United States of America (

The Mw7.8 Kahramanmaraş Earthquake was larger and more destructive than what had been expected for the tectonic setting in Southeastern Turkey. By using near-field records we provide evidence for early supershear transition on the splay fault that hosted the nucleation and early propagation of the first rupture that eventually transitioned into the East Anatolian fault. The two stations located furthest from the epicenter show a larger fault parallel particle velocity component relative to the fault normal particle velocity component; a unique signature of supershear ruptures that has been identified in theoretical and experimental models of intersonic rupture growth. The third station located closest to the epicenter, while mostly preserving the classical sub-Rayleigh characteristics, it also features a small supershear pulse clearly propagating ahead of the original sub-Rayleigh rupture. This record provides, for the first time ever, field observational evidence for the mechanism of intersonic transition. By using the two furthest stations we estimate the instantaneous supershear rupture propagation speed to be ~1.55 Cs and the sub-Rayleigh to supershear transition length to be around 19.45 km, very close to the location of the station nearest to the epicenter. This early supershear transition might have facilitated the continued propagation and triggering of slip on the nearby East Anatolian Fault leading to amplification of the hazard. The complex dynamics of the Kahramanmaraş earthquake warrants further studies.

How to cite: Elbanna, A., Abdelmeguid, M., and Rosakis, A.: Evidence of Early Supershear Transition in the Mw 7.8 Kahramanmaraş Earthquake From Near-Field Records, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17601,, 2023.