Discrimination of earthquakes and quarry blasts in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey


JOURNAL OF SEISMOLOGY, vol.17, no.2, pp.721-734, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10950-012-9348-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.721-734
  • Keywords: The eastern Black Sea, Earthquakes, Quarry blasts, Time-frequency analysis, SEISMICITY CATALOGS, EXPLOSIONS
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In recent years, a large number of quarry blasts have been detonated in the eastern Black Sea region. When these blasts are recorded by seismic stations, they contaminate the regional earthquake catalog. It is necessary to discriminate quarry blast records from the earthquake catalogs in order to determine the real seismicity of the region. Earthquakes and quarry blasts can be separated through different methods. These methods should be applied concurrently in order to safely distinguish these events. In this study, we discriminated quarry blasts from earthquakes in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey. We used 186 seismic events recorded by the Karadeniz Technical University and Bogazi double dagger i University Kandilli Observatory Earthquake Research Institute stations which are Trabzon, Espiye, Pazar, Bor double dagger ka, AydA +/- ntepe, and GumuAYhane between years of 2002 and 2010. For the discrimination of quarry blasts from earthquakes, we used both, statistical methods (calculation of the maximum ratio of S to P waves (S/P), complexity (C)) and spectral methods (spectrogram calculation). These methods included measuring the maximum amplitude S/P, C, spectral ratio, and time-frequency analysis. We especially relied on two-dimensional time-frequency analysis methods to discriminate quarry blasts from earthquakes in Turkey. As a result of this study, 68 % of the examined seismic events were determined to be quarry blasts and 32 % to be earthquakes. The earthquakes occurring on land are related to small faults and the blasts are concentrated in large quarries. Nearly 40 % of the earthquakes occurred in the Black Sea, most of them are related to the Black Sea thrust belt, where the largest earthquake was observed in the time period studied. The areas with the largest earthquake potential in the eastern Black Sea region are in the sea.