Nine earthquake scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey arrived in Turkey Friday to begin monitoring aftershocks from the 7.4 earthquake that struck the area east of Istanbul early Tuesday morning. The scientists also will be examining the areas where the greatest damage occurred, in an attempt to determine the amount of shaking that occurred and the factors that contributed to the collapse of buildings.
Two of the USGS scientists, Dr. Mehmet Celebi, of Menlo Park, Calif., and Dr. Erdal Safak, of Denver, Colo., are natives of Turkey, who now work for the USGS. They are accompanied by fellow USGS earthquake scientists: Tom Fumal, Tom Holzer, and Heidi Steiner, from Menlo Park; and Chuck Mueller, Ed Cranswick, Mark Miramonte, and David Carver, of Denver.
The first task of the USGS scientists is to set up a network of portable seismometers between Istanbul and the city of Izmit, where most of the damage occurred. These seismometers will record the aftershocks that are continuing in the wake of Tuesday's main shock, and will also give the scientists the information needed to determine soil conditions that may have contributed to the collapse of some buildings.
The USGS scientists are expected to be in Turkey for at least 10 days.
As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science, and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, contribute to the sound conservation and the economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.