Mustafa Yıldırım, Murat Tonaroğlu, Murat E. Selçuk & Cem Akgüner

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1 Revised stratigraphy of the Tertiary deposits of Istanbul and their engineering properties Mustafa Yıldırım, Murat Tonaroğlu, Murat E. Selçuk & Cem Akgüner Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment The official journal of the IAEG ISSN Volume 72 Combined 3-4 Bull Eng Geol Environ (2013) 72: DOI /s

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3 Bull Eng Geol Environ (2013) 72: DOI /s ORIGINAL PAPER Revised stratigraphy of the Tertiary deposits of Istanbul and their engineering properties Mustafa Yıldırım Murat Tonaroğlu Murat E. Selçuk Cem Akgüner Received: 21 February 2012 / Accepted: 12 May 2013 / Published online: 11 October 2013 Ó Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013 Abstract For over 50 years, the Upper Oligocene Upper Miocene sedimentary sequence in Istanbul has been considered to be formed of two distinct sequences separated by an unconformity. However, recent field observations and an analysis of numerous borehole data indicate the Gürpınar, Çukurçeşme and Güngören Formations are in fact a single sequence of alternating clay sand/sandstone beds/ lenses, here named the Avcılar Formation. The Bakırköy Formation, which is typically composed of carbonate rocks, conformably overlies the Avcılar Formation. The paper provides the geotechnical parameters of the units within the Avcılar Formation which it is hoped will facilitate selecting suitable geotechnical and engineering geological parameters to represent the deposits and minimize errors in the interpretation/evaluation of in-situ conditions. Keywords Stratigraphy Tertiary Istanbul Avcılar formation Geotechnical properties Résumé Depuis plus de 50 ans, la série sédimentaire de l Oligocène supérieur - Miocène supérieur d Istanbul a été considérée comme constituée de deux séquences distinctes séparées par une surface de discordance. Cependant, des observations récentes sur le terrain et une analyse de nombreuses données de forage indiquent que les formations de Gürpinar, Cukurcesme et Güngören constituent en fait une seule séquence présentant des alternances de lits ou lentilles de sables argileux ou de grès, ici nommée formation d Avcilar. La formation de Bakirköy, qui est généralement composée de roches carbonatées, recouvre en M. Yıldırım M. Tonaroğlu M. E. Selçuk C. Akgüner (&) Civil Engineering Department, Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey continuité la formation d Avcilar. L article présente les paramètres géotechniques des différentes unités constituant la formation d Avcilar. On espère faciliter ainsi la sélection des paramètres géotechniques aptes à représenter les différentes unités géologiques, tout en minimisant les erreurs dans l analyse des paramètres in situ des unités. Mots clés Stratigraphie Tertiaire Istanbul Formation d Avcilar Propriétésgéotechniques Introduction Istanbul, in a seismically active region, is one of the world s oldest cities and has great cultural and economic significance, with its historic character, geopolitical position and population in excess of 12 million. Therefore, engineering geological and geotechnical investigations are critical in determining the soil and rock properties for building design and construction. However, errors and confusion frequently arise in mapping the observed/encountered geological units in outcrops when engineers/authorities use the commonly adopted stratigraphic sequence. For example, seismic microzonation studies for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in and by Oyo Corp. in resulted in significantly different geological maps (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality 2013). Typically, practitioners have accepted that the Gürpınar Formation includes only the sand and clay deposits of the Upper Oligocene Period, which is unconformably overlain by the sand and gravel deposits of the approximately 20 m thick Çukurçeşme Formation of Upper Miocene age. The Çukurçeşme Formation is conformably overlain by the

4 414 M. Yıldırım et al. Güngören Formation (swamp clays up to 10 m thick), above which is the Bakırköy Formation consisting of marl and limestone reaching thicknesses of 20 m (Arıç 1955; Sönmez-Gökçen 1964; Sayar 1976; Tezcan et al. 1977; Sakınç et al. 1999). However, in geological maps prepared for different areas of Istanbul, some of the sands recurring within the dominantly clay Gürpınar Formation have been assumed to be planes of unconformity and mapped as the Çukurçeşme Formation, in order to fit within the accepted stratigraphic template (Fig. 1). Consequently, many geologically similar areas have been mapped differently, leading to confusion and, more importantly, errors in evaluation. For the current study, recent field observations and data from a significant number of boreholes have been evaluated and the deposits variously distinguished as the Gürpınar, Çukurçeşme and Güngören Formations have collectively been named and mapped as a single unit, the Avcılar Formation (Figs. 2, 3). Geotechnical engineers sometimes consider that the formation name and stratigraphic sequence are of little significance when studying the engineering properties of soils. In fact a stratigraphic sequence described incorrectly may lead to serious errors. Istanbul provides a good example of how recurring problems related to soils and rocks stem from ill-defined geology and stratigraphy. This study has shown, on the basis of borehole data and field mapping, that many areas previously mapped as clay are in fact sand and vice versa. It is obvious that this situation may adversely affect investigations carried out for slope stability, excavation support, and analyses of settlement and bearing capacity. Moreover, the potential for liquefaction of saturated granular soils may be overlooked when the areas are erroneously identified as clay, while the Fig. 1 Typically accepted stratigraphy of Istanbul

5 Istanbul: engineering properties of Tertiary deposits 415 Fig. 2 General geological map of Istanbul and its surrounding area lithological logging of boreholes may be influenced by the accepted stratigraphic name. These examples alone prove that the proposed revision of the existing geological maps is of paramount importance. This should take account of information from reliable boreholes, rather than depending only on previous surface mapping in a highly urbanized area. Tertiary stratigraphy of Istanbul The widespread basal rocks on the European side of Istanbul, the Trakya (Thrace) Formation, are represented by sedimentary units, such as sandstone (greywacke), siltstone and claystone of Lower Carboniferous age (Abdüsselamoğlu 1963), deposited as flysch facies (Baykal and Kaya 1963; Kaya 1969, 1971). The dominantly limestone Kırklareli Formation of Middle Eocene Lower Oligocene age, unconformably overlies the Trakya Formation (Dizer 1985). Field data recently compiled and assessed suggest that the proposed Avcılar Formation unconformably overlies the Trakya and Kırklareli Formations. The Avcılar Formation, which is typically more than 250 m thick, commences with a transgressive conglomerate layer and continues upwards with alternating layers of sand/sandstone and clay/claystone. There is a gradual transition to the overlying Bakırköy Formation, which is locally up to 50 m thick and composed mainly of carbonate rocks. Based on this interpretation, it has been concluded by the authors that no unconformity exists within the Late Oligocene to Late Miocene deposits (Fig. 3). Kirklareli Formation (Middle Eocene Lower Oligocene) The Kırklareli Formation, which underlies the Avcılar Formation, is composed of neritic carbonate rocks (Keskin 1966). The Formation has generally been identified as including all rocks formed behind, on and in front of a reef (Umut et al. 1983, 1984). The sequence commences with

6 416 M. Yıldırım et al. Fig. 3 Updated stratigraphy and typically observed deposits clayey sandy marls at the base and continues upward with reef limestone and marl intercalated with clay. Based on borehole data obtained near the coast of the Marmara Sea to the East of Bakırköy, the Kırklareli deposits lying unconformably above the Trakya Formation and beneath the Avcılar Formation increase in thickness toward the West, and outcrop on the North and Northwest of the Küçükçekmece Lake (Fig. 3). The results of laboratory tests performed on limestone samples from the Kırklareli Formation are presented in Table 1. Upper Oligocene Upper Miocene deposits The Upper Oligocene Upper Miocene deposits unconformably overlie either the Trakya or the Kırklareli Formation. At the base are boulders, sand and gravel, tuff, clay with a high organic content, or lignite formed during a Late Oligocene transgression, above which are alternating lithologies of green, overconsolidated clay/claystone and micaceous sand/sandstone intercalated with clay (Yıldırım and Savaşkan 2002; Ansal et al. 2005; Kılıç et al. 2005a, b, 2006;Özener et al. 2005;İnce et al. 2007; Alim et al. 2007; İnce et al. 2008). This sequence, named by the authors as the Avcılar Formation, has a gradually increasing carbonate content and conformably passes into the Bakırköy Formation, which is composed of limestone with interbeds of marl and clay. The sequence ends with uncemented beds of carbonaceous clay, clayey sand and gravel, deposited at the end of the Upper Miocene (Belgrad gravel Baykal 1974). The uncemented, terrestrial sedimentary Samandıra

7 Istanbul: engineering properties of Tertiary deposits 417 Table 1 Generalized geotechnical parameters of Istanbul Tertiary deposits SPT N V S (m/s) Shear wave velocity q u (MPa) Undrained compress. strength m v (m 2 /kn) Coeff. of volume change C C Compression index k (cm/s) Hydraulic conductivity I P (%) Plasticity index w P (%) Plastic limit w L (%) Liquid limit w (%) Water content e Void ratio c n (kn/m 3 ) Natural unit weight RQD (%) Rock Quality Design. index Formation name/layers Samandıra Bakırköy Limestone B [ Over consolidated clay * Avcılar Over consolidated clay [ Organic clay Sand interbeds [ Kırklareli Limestone B * [50 [760 Formation (Yıldırım 2000) of Pliocene age, locally m thick, typically consists of a dark reddish brown quartz gravel in a matrix of silty clay which unconformably overlies the older Formations. Avcılar Formation This sequence is the main outcrop from the historic peninsula of Istanbul to the districts of Avcılar and Büyükçekmece to the west. It is composed of alternating fissured, overconsolidated clay, claystone and sand/sandstone. The same sequence also has a significant areal extent along the Asian side of the Black Sea coast. As noted above, the Avcılar Formation, which lies unconformably over the Trakya Formation around the Golden Horn and over the Kırklareli Formation further to the west, has at its base either gravelly sands or black clays with high organic content and lignite. Above these basal deposits, the dominant lithology is green, overconsolidated clays with brownish grey interbedded sands. The revised Tertiary stratigraphy of Istanbul is supported by the data obtained from several m deep boreholes undertaken as part of the microzonation study contracted by the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul in 2006 and 2007 (Oyo International 2007). Additional information supporting the revised stratigraphy was obtained from deeper boreholes ( m) drilled every square kilometre within the same project. The log of a deep borehole drilled to a depth of 209 m is given in Fig. 4, including the engineering properties of the different Formations. In this borehole, the Avcılar Formation extends to a depth of 184 m where the bedrock (Kırklareli Formation) is encountered. The borehole terminated in the Trakya Formation limestone at a depth of 209 m. The uniaxial compressive strength of the soil and very weak rock layers was determined using a pocket penetrometer while stronger rock samples were subjected to point load testing in the laboratory. Shear wave velocity, V S, is a very important geotechnical parameter, particularly in soil dynamics. P S logging in the borehole indicated a V S of \760 m/s for the entire sequence of the Bakırköy Formation and the underlying Avcılar Formation, regardless of their thicknesses. Shear wave velocities in excess of 760 m/s were measured only after the geological bedrock (either the Kırklareli or the Trakya Formation) was reached. One of the significant factors leading to the relatively greater damage experienced in Avcılar during the 1999 Kocaeli/Düzce earthquake was the presence of the thick ([250 m) Avcılar Formation deposits described below. Overconsolidated clay The overconsolidated high plasticity clays (CH), are stiff to hard as determined by standard penetration testing (SPT). The percentage of free

8 418 M. Yıldırım et al. Fig. 4 Log of a borehole extending to a depth of 209 m depicting the revised stratigraphy swell determined in the laboratory was %, and the swell pressure is kpa. The unit does not contain any groundwater except within the granular interbeds, and the sand and clay intercalations sometimes occur as weak claystone or medium strong sandstone (Yıldırım and Savaşkan 2002). The geotechnical properties of the overconsolidated clay unit, which is the dominant lithology in the Avcılar Formation, are summarized in Table 1. Sand interbeds and lenses In the Avcılar Formation, occasional interbeds or lenses of grey-brown sand, gravelly sand, light-colored micaceous sand and localised m thick gravels are encountered within the clay layers. The frequently quartz-rich, uncemented or loosely cemented sand deposits are classified as silty or clayey sand (SM, SC), and gravel deposits as clayey gravel (GC) (Eroskay and Kale 1986; Table 1). The granular layers often include relatively thin (10 30 cm thick) interbeds of generally overconsolidated clay. Clays with high organic content Dark grey to black, highly organic, high plasticity clay layers with a high swelling potential seldom occur in the Avcılar Formation.

9 Istanbul: engineering properties of Tertiary deposits 419 Where present, at various elevations, they are generally \10 m thick and of limited lateral extent. However, they are significant in terms of their engineering properties and may cause serious instability especially in sloping ground, resulting in excessive settlement, tilting or even toppling of buildings (Tezcan et al. 1977; Yıldırım et al. 1996; Yıldırım 1997). As seen in Table 1, the optimum water content of the clay samples was in the order of around 21 %, based on standard Proctor tests. The swell pressure of samples compacted using the standard compactive energy at their optimum water content was 78.5 kpa, and the swelling percentage under a surcharge load of 7.0 kpa was 6 %. With 90 % of the samples passing the #200 sieve, they are classified as fine grained soils. Having been deposited in a swamp environment, they have a wide range of properties due to the variation in the quantity of contained organic matter. Bakırköy Formation This unit, overlying the Avcılar Formation, is mainly composed of marl and limestone. Although Arıç (1955) suggested the gradual transition was Sarmation in age, Nazik (1998), based on research with the fossils, determined that the Bakırköy Formation is of Pontian age and was formed in a lagoon along the coastline but mainly fed by onshore materials. The dominant lithology of the sequence is off-white to cream, horizontally-bedded, medium strong, Mactra-bearing limestone and weak marl, often interbedded with thin green clays. The limestone layers, which outcrop mostly on the higher ground and hill tops (Meriç et al. 1991), sometimes contain sand and clay intercalations; their carbonate content gradually decreases toward the base of the Formation. Recent boreholes have revealed that the Bakırköy Formation reaches a thickness of 50 m (Oyo International 2007). In general, the marl unit in the Bakırköy Formation can be classified as very weak whereas the limestone is weak to medium strong rock and the compact samples are strong rocks. Typical geotechnical properties of the Bakırköy Formation are given in Table 1. Samandıra Formation (Pliocene) The Samandıra Formation consists of continental fluvial deposits of Pliocene age. The deposits are mainly reddish dark brown, sandy and silty clay with coarse gravel containing rounded quartz pebbles (Yıldırım 2000). The Formation varies up to 50 m thick on the Asian side to 20 m thick on the European side. The geotechnical properties are summarized in Table 1. Until 2007 it was generally considered that only alluvial deposits rested on the Bakırköy Formation. However, following field studies in 2007, the first author appreciated that throughout the coastal areas west of Avcılar (Fig. 1), the Samandıra Formation unconformably overlies the Bakırköy Formation. Conclusions On the basis of recent interpretations, the Gürpınar, Çukurçeşme and Güngören Formations have long been considered in the geological literature to be distinct formations. However, as they are composed of common alternating lithologies with no unconformity, it is proposed that they should be combined into a single formation, here named the Avcılar Formation. The geotechnical properties of the contained units, determined from field and laboratory investigations, are presented in tabular form. References Abdüsselamoğlu Ş (1963) Geology of Kocaeli Island, Collection of The General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (Ankara), Compilation No Alim C, Kılıç H,Özaydın K, Tohumcu Özener P, Yıldırım M (2007) Comparison of one and two dimensional site response analysis results for Küçükçekmece Region in Istanbul, in 4th international conference on earthquake geotechnical engineering (Thessaloniki-Greece) Ansal A, Özaydın K, Erdik M, Yıldırım M,Kılıç H, Adatepe Ş, Özener Tohumcu P, Tonaroğlu M, Şeşetyan K, Demircioğlu M (2005) Seismic microzonation for urban planning and vulnerability assessment, proceedings of international symposium on earthquake engineering commemorating tenth anniversary of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake (Kobe) 2005 Arıç C (1955) Geology of Haliç and Küçükçekmece Region, Ph.D. dissertation, Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Mines Publication, Istanbul Baykal AF (1974) Historical Geology, Istanbul University Faculty of Science Publications, No. 127 Baykal AF, Kaya O (1963) General stratigraphy of carboniferous rocks in Istanbul. Journal Gen Dir Miner Res Explor 61:1 11 Dizer A (1985) The oligocene of the pınarhisar. In: İzdar E, Nakoman E (eds) International sixth colloquium geology of the Aegean region - Izmir, vol. 2, 2nd edn. Piri Reis International Contribution Series Publication, pp Tezcan S, Durgunoğlu T, Acar Y, Ayan T, Belen M, Çivi A, Düring S, Durgunoğlu, T, Sayar C, Tanca B, Ünal A, Vardar T (1977) Geotechnical and geodynamic investigation of new settlements locations in Istanbul, area between the lakes, Bosphorus University Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Research Project, internal report, Eroskay O, Kale S (1986) Geotechnical findings on the route of the Bosporus tube tunnel. Bull Turkish Natl Comm Int Assoc Eng Geol 8:2 7 İnce GÇ, Özaydın K, Yıldırım M, Tohumcu Özener P (2007) Seismic Microzonation of Historical Peninsula (Istanbul) with respect to

10 420 M. Yıldırım et al. liquefaction susceptibility, in 4th international conference on earthquake geotechnical engineering (Thessaloniki-Greece) İnce GÇ, Özaydın K, Yıldırım M, Tohumcu Özener P (2008) Seismic microzonation of the historic peninsula of Istanbul. Bull Eng Geol Environ 67(1):41 51 Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (2013) Istanbul & Earthquake (online). Accessed 12 Mar 2013, (http://www.ibb.gov.tr/tr-tr/ SubSites/EarthquakeSiteEn/Pages/MainPage.aspx) Kaya O (1969) Carboniferous rocks in Istanbul. N Jb Geol Pale Mh H-3 (Stuttgart): Kaya O (1971) Carboniferous stratigraphy of Istanbul. Bull Geol Soc Turk 14(2): Keskin C (1966) Microfacies investigation of Pınarhisar recifal complex. Istanbul Univ Fac Sci Publ 31/3-4: Kılıç H, Özener Tohumcu P, Yıldırım M, Özaydın K, Adatepe Ş (2005) Evaluation of Küçükçekmece region with respect to soil amplification, in 16th international conference on soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering (Osaka-Japan), Kılıç H, Özener Tohumcu P, Adatepe Ş, Yıldırım M, Demir H (2005) Seismic microzonation of Küçükçekmece-Halkalı region in Istanbul, in World Tunnel Congress & 31st ITA General Assembly Kılıç H, Özener Tohumcu P, Ansal A, Yıldırım M, Özaydın İK, Adatepe Ş (2006) Microzonation of Zeytinburnu region with respect to soil amplification: a case study. Eng Geol 86: Meriç E, Oktay YF, Sakınç M,Gülen D, İnal A (1991) Sedimentary geology and paleoecology of Ayamama (Bakırköy-Istanbul) quaternary deposition. J Cumhuriyet Univ Eng Fac 8(1): Nazik A (1998) New ideas for the age and constitutional environment of Bakırköy Formation (Küçükçekmece-Istanbul) based on the ostracode fauna. J Earth Sci Istanbul Univ Eng Fac 11: OYO International Corporation (2007) Production of microzonation report and maps European side (South): final report, İstanbul Özener Tohumcu P, Kılıç H, Yıldırım M, & Özaydın K (2005) Seismic microzonation of Küçükçekmece and Sefaköy regions in Istanbul with respect to liquefaction susceptibility, proceedings of international conference on problematic soils (Famagusta, N. Cyprus), Sakınç M, Yaltırak C, Oktay FY (1999) Palaeogeographical evolution of the Thrace Neogene Basin and The Tethys-Paratethys Relations at Northwestern Turkey (Thrace). Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 153(1):17 40 Sayar C (1976) The geology of The Golden Horn (Haliç) and surrounding region, in national symposium on The Golden Horn (Bosphorus University), Sönmez-Gökçen N (1964) A note on the new age of the Congeria Series from the Neogene rocks near Çatalca (Trakya) determined with ostracods. J Gen Dir Miner Res Explor 63(6):43 54 Umut M, Kurt Z, İmik M, Özcan İ, Sarıkaya H, Saraç G (1983) The geology of Tekirdağ Silivri (Istanbul) Pınarhisar (Kırklareli) Uzunköprü (Edirne) Area, Collection of The General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration, Report No Umut M, İmik M, Kurt Z, Özcan İ, Ateş M, Karabıyıkoğlu M, Saraç G (1984) The geology of area near Edirne Kırklareli Lüleburgaz (Kırklareli) Uzunköprü (Edirne), Collection of The General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration Report No Yıldırım M (1997) Engineering geological evaluation of solid waste landfill sites: two examples from Istanbul, Turkey. Bull Eng Geol 55: Yıldırım M (2000) Engineering properties of Istanbul area rocks. J Yıldız Tech Univ 3:9 23 Yıldırım M, Savaşkan E (2002) The stratigraphy and engineering properties of Istanbul Tertiary deposits. Bull Turkish Natl Comm Int Assoc Eng Geol 18:48 62 Yıldırım M,Yıldırım S, Akgüner C (1996) The effect of soil behavior in Haramidere-Yakuplu region on foundation systems of structures, in IX. Engineering symposium, (Engineering and Architectural Faculty, Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta, 27 35

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