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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 352654, 13 pages
Review Article

Soft-Sediment Deformation Structures Interpreted as Seismites in the Kolankaya Formation, Denizli Basin (SW Turkey)

Department of Geological Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Pamukkale University, Kınıklı Campus, 20070 Denizli, Turkey

Received 7 May 2014; Accepted 8 July 2014; Published 24 July 2014

Academic Editor: Karoly Nemeth

Copyright © 2014 Savaş Topal and Mehmet Özkul. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The NW-trending Denizli basin of the SW Turkey is one of the neotectonic grabens in the Aegean extensional province. It is bounded by normal faults on both southern and northern margins. The basin is filled by Neogene and Quaternary terrestrial deposits. Late Miocene- Late Pliocene aged Kolankaya formation crops out along the NW trending Karakova uplift in the Denizli basin. It is a typical fluviolacustrine succession that thickens and coarsens upward, comprising poorly consolidated sand, gravelly sand, siltstone and marl. Various soft-sediment deformation structures occur in the formation, especially in fine- to medium grained sands, silts and marls: load structures, flame structures, clastic dikes (sand and gravely-sand dike), disturbed layers, laminated convolute beds, slumps and synsedimentary faulting. The deformation mechanism and driving force for the soft-sediment deformation are related essentially to gravitational instability, dewatering, liquefaction-liquidization, and brittle deformation. Field data and the wide lateral extent of the structures as well as regional geological data show that most of the deformation is related to seismicity and the structures are interpreted as seismites. The existence of seismites in the Kolankaya Formation is evidence for continuing tectonic activity in the study area during the Neogene and is consistent with the occurrence of the paleoearthquakes of magnitude >5.