Archive for the ‘Geological Engineering’ category

Sedimentary deposits in the Istanbul’s Byzantine harbour

January 27, 2012

Bony et al. published an interesting study in Quaternary International about a Byzantine harbour (Theodosian harbour) which has been uncovered during excavations in Istanbul. The stratigraphic sequence goes back to 7000 BP. In the marine part of the sedimentary sequence, the authors interpreted high-energy deposit as tsunami deposits and related to the earthquake of 557 AD. You can find more info at



7.2M earthquake in the Eastern Turkey

October 24, 2011

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake occurred in eastern Turkey on 23 October 2011 on noon local time. CNN reports that several buildings have collapsed in Van Province.

Source: USGS

Earthquake damage scenarios for Istanbul

July 26, 2010

Ansal et al., from Bogazici University, published a research study about a methodology for seismic microzonation and earthquake damage scenarios.  A pilot study is carried out to evaluate seismic damage in a district in Istanbul, which showed the significance of site characterization and site response analysis. Their results can be found in the journal of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering. doi:10.1016/j.soildyn.2010.06.004

Photo by Enric Marti (AA)

Ottoman mortars: why historical Ottoman buildings were so resistant against serious earthquakes

April 26, 2010

An interesting study published by Binici et al., in the Journal of Construction and Building Materials about the mortars (inert siliceous materials used in construction to bond brick, stone and blocks) used in historical Ottoman buildings in Erzurum province. The physico-chemical and microscopic properties of the mortars have been studied by SEM, XRD, EDS analysis. Binici et al. revealed that mortars with higher SiO2 + Al2O3 + Fe2O3 values have higher hydraulicity and cementation indices which result in higher compressive strengths. They concluded that this is the main reason why historical Ottoman buildings have been so resistant against serious earthquakes for centuries. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2010.03.013