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Why Earthquakes Threaten Two Major European Cities: Istanbul and Bucharest

  • Gregory A. Houseman (a1) (a2)

Istanbul and Bucharest are major European cities that face a continuing threat of large earthquakes. The geological contexts for these two case studies enable us to understand the nature of the threat and to predict more precisely the consequences of future earthquakes, although we remain unable to predict the time of those events with any precision better than multi-decadal. These two cities face contrasting threats: Istanbul is located on a major geological boundary, the North Anatolian Fault, which separates a westward moving Anatolia from the stable European landmass. Bucharest is located within the stable European continent, but large-scale mass movements in the upper mantle beneath the lithosphere cause relatively frequent large earthquakes that represent a serious threat to the city and surrounding regions.

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