With their studies, the researchers will determine the landslides triggered by the earthquake at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea and the destruction on the ecosystem, with the water and sediment core samples they will take from the sea floor, and collect information that will predict the risks that the next possible earthquakes will create in the seas.

“We will reveal how the marine system reacted to the earthquake”

METU Marine Sciences Institute Deputy Director Assoc. Dr. In his statement, Mustafa Yücel said that they make up to 4 voyages a year at sea between the Iskenderun and Mersin Gulf and Mersin-TRNC in the Mediterranean with the Bilim-2 ship.

Expressing that they directed scientific studies to the earthquake after the recent earthquakes, Yücel stated that the city infrastructures became unusable, many treatment facilities were destroyed, many industrial facilities were damaged, and there were piles of rubble and ruins.

Yücel pointed out that this situation had effects on the marine ecosystem and said that the Mediterranean was a sea under pollution pressure even before the earthquake. Yucel said:

“As a polluted place as Marmara, in fact, we will make expeditions to the Mediterranean throughout the year in order to more closely monitor the new effects of the earthquake disaster. We are planning expeditions in March, June and August. Especially in order to monitor the pollution in the marine ecosystem, mostly to the mouths of rivers such as the fronts of the Asi River and Samandag. “We have established stations in the regions. We will be sampling with much higher resolution here. Has the pollution inflow to the sea increased? If it has increased, what effects will it have? In short, we will reveal how the marine system reacted to the earthquake.”

They will locate underwater landslides

Assoc. Dr. 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.”

“We will take a general picture of the sea”

Stating that they will take samples from the sea bottom water during their voyages and look at its physical properties, Yücel said, “We will take a general picture of the sea. We will look at whether there is an abnormality especially on the shores of the earthquake region, in the depths, in the currents, in the water column, in the bottom waters. Because if there is an abnormal situation, for example, the turbidity will directly “We will be seeing it with sensors. We will analyze this data and make more special expeditions to measure landslides.” said.

Yücel added that as they get the results, they will invite experts from other disciplines to the ship and apply their expertise to deepen the work.

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