Normal fault displacement dislocating a Roman aqueduct of Ephesos, western Turkey

Passchier C. W., Wiplinger G., GÜNGÖR T., Kessener P., Suermelihindi G.

TERRA NOVA, vol.25, no.4, pp.292-297, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/ter.12035
  • Journal Name: TERRA NOVA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.292-297
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


A 38-km-long ancient aqueduct channel that served Roman Ephesos, Turkey was dislocated vertically over 3 m by a single seismic event on a normal fault. A new channel was constructed downstream from the fault in Roman times, next to and partly on top of the original channel. Archaeological investigations and study of carbonate deposits suggest a causative seismic event in the second half of the second century CE, probably in 178 CE, after the original channel had functioned for <35 years. The Icme Tepe fault was identified as responsible for the displacement and may still constitute a seismic and tsunami hazard for the Turkish west coast, specifically for the city of Kusadasi. Ancient aqueducts, of which more than 1400 are presently known, are a promising and almost untapped archive for archaeoseismic studies, especially in the Mediterranean area.