Regional geothermal characterisation of East Anatolia from aeromagnetic, heat flow and gravity data

Özcan Bektaş, Dhananjay Ravat, Aydin Büyüksaraç, Funda Bilim, Abdullah Ateş

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


East Anatolia is a region of high topography made up of a 2-km high plateau and Neogene and Quaternary volcanics overlying the subduction-accretion complex formed by the process of collision. The aeromagnetic and gravity data surveyed by the Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) of Turkey have been used to interpret qualitatively the characteristics of the near-surface geology of the region. The residual aeromagnetic data were low-pass filtered and analyzed to produce the estimates of magnetic bottom using the centroid method and by forward modelling of spectra to evaluate the uncertainties in such estimates. The magnetic bottom estimates can be indicative of temperatures in the crust because magnetic minerals lose their spontaneous magnetization at the Curie temperature of the dominant magnetic minerals in the rocks and, thus, also are called Curie point depths (CPDs). The Curie point depths over the region of Eastern Anatolia vary from 12.9 to 22.6 km. Depths computed from forward modelling of spectra with 200-600 km window sizes suggest that the bottom depths from East Anatolia from the magnetic data may have errors exceeding 5 km; however, most of the obtained depths appear to lie in the above range and indicate that the lower crust is either demagnetized or non-magnetic. In the interpretation of the magnetic map, we also used reduction-to-pole (RTP) and amplitude of total gradient of high-pass filtered anomalies, which reduced dipolar orientation effects of induced aeromagnetic anomalies. However, the features of the RTP and the total gradient of the high-pass filtered aeromagnetic anomalies are not highly correlated to the hot spring water locations. On the other hand, many high-amplitude features seen on the total gradient map can be correlated with the ophiolitic rocks observed on the surface. This interpretation is supported by Bouguer gravity data. In this paper, we recommend that the sources of the widespread thermal activity seen in East Anatolia must be investigated individually by means of detailed mapping and modelling of high resolution geophysical data to assess further the geothermal potential of the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-998
Number of pages24
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the General Directorate of the Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) of Turkey for providing digital topographic, aeromagnetic and gravity data. This research was financially supported by the Cumhuriyet University, Scientific Research Projects (CUBAP) (Project code: M-281). Dhananjay Ravat extends gratitude to NASA for funding.


  • Aeromagnetic anomalies
  • Curie point depth
  • Forward modelling
  • Gravity data
  • Power spectrum
  • Upper crustal structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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