26 Jan 2024

Earthquake Research Center from ITU and İşbank: MATAM

MATAM, which will conduct earthquake research at ITU with the support of İşbank, was introduced to the public with a signing ceremony held at ITU Ayazağa Campus SDCC Senate Hall on January 25, 2024.

News: İTÜ Media and Communication Office

Marmara Active Fault Hazard and Risk Application and Research Center (MATAM) was launched at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) with the support of İşbank. At the center, dynamic, digital, interactive hazard and risk mapping techniques will be developed regarding the hazards and risk posed by active faults in our country, especially in the Marmara Region. At the same time, earthquake scenarios will be prepared by creating building-based acceleration maps, and with these scenarios data will be generated for urban transformation, industrial planning, and disaster preparedness infrastructure.

ITU - İşbank Marmara Active Fault Hazard and Risk Application and Research Center was introduced at a meeting held at ITU Ayazağa Campus and attended by our Rector Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu, İşbank CEO Hakan Aran, and the academics who will serve at the center. At MATAM, where many disciplines will work together in coordination, academics specialized in scientific topics that overlap with the subject of earthquakes, such as geological engineering, geochemistry-geodynamics, geodesy and photogrammetry, electronic communications, urban and regional planning, hydrogeological engineering, and civil engineering, will work.

“The level of knowledge in earthquake research will become much higher”

Our Rector Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu stated that MATAM, for which the protocol signing ceremony was held, will raise Türkiye’s level of knowledge in earthquake research much higher in the future and addressed the audience and the press as follows: “Our center will open the way for young people working in this field, and at the same time, our academics will contribute greatly to our country with their pioneering work. I hope that the number of such beautiful cooperation protocols will increase day by day. We, as ITU, are doing our best to make this happen, and we will continue to do so.”

“The way to prevent loss of life in disasters is through science”

In his speech at the meeting, İşbank CEO Hakan Aran stated that they implemented this cooperation with the belief that loss of life can be prevented in case of a similar disaster after the great earthquake disaster on February 6 last year, and that they believe that the way to do this is through science, which is why they attach great importance to the establishment of such a center. Expressing that they are very pleased to announce on the 100th anniversary of İşbank, the decision the of the bank’s board of directors to support MATAM in 2023, which coincides with the 250th anniversary of ITU, Aran said that MATAM is one of the best examples of university, public and private sector cooperation.

“MATAM will be Türkiye’s ‘Apollo’ project”

MATAM’s project coordinator Prof. Dr. Cenk Yaltırak said the following in his speech: “With the digital maps and modeling we will produce in this field, we will have the opportunity to obtain data on how to construct the soil-building relationship by revealing the magnitude of the earthquake that a fault with earthquake potential will produce, how the emerging earthquake waves will affect the ground, and how the events on the ground will affect the buildings at any location. I liken MATAM to the ‘Apollo’ project. We aim to carry out multidisciplinary research that will make a difference with the available data and the most up-to-date technology.”


The objectives of Istanbul Technical University - İşbank Marmara Active Fault Hazard and Risk Application and Research Center (MATAM) are as follows:

To develop dynamic, digital, interactive hazard and risk mapping techniques to reveal the hazard and risk posed by active faults, especially in the Marmara Region, with high performance, and to conduct advanced research and develop new methods and projects to produce high-precision hazard and risk data for end users on active faults.

To collect digital terrain models and multi-beam bathymetry data to prepare high-resolution and three-dimensional fault maps of the active faults in the Marmara Region, to evaluate existing databases and conduct new seismic research in deficient areas, by combining them to calculate the recurrence periods, to determine the time elapsed since the last earthquake, to determine the magnitudes of earthquakes that will occur in the active fault segments in question through geodesy and paleoseismology studies on the new active fault map, which is produced with land and sea reliefs with centimeter precision on three-dimensional maps produced by evaluating seismic data and has ground accuracy of 30 cm.

To establish a geochronology laboratory to age the samples and cores to be collected on land and at sea, to keep the obtained data in a special archive data bank, and to support all paleoseismology studies in the country through joint studies. 

To ensure the production of maximum ground acceleration, maximum ground speed, spectral acceleration and spectral displacement maps with high precision (on a building basis) for different attenuation relations of the created active fault maps and calculated earthquake magnitudes, to produce disaster-oriented earthquake scenarios with these maps, to generate data for the public and end users for urban transformation, industrial planning, and disaster preparedness infrastructure.

To develop special networks on sea and land to perfect spectral acceleration maps in the Marmara Region, and to create an interconnected data collection center that constantly monitors regionally active faults.

To contribute to the development of high-tech measurement systems (powerful ground motion measurement devices, seafloor seismic measurement systems, applications for collecting acceleration data with personal mobile phones) by creating a strong university-public-R&D center collaboration ecosystem.

To train human and labor force, researchers and engineers from different disciplines with high level of equipment and competence required in the field of active fault research and to raise them to the capacity to carry out the necessary studies to reduce the earthquake risk posed to cities and industry in the examination of priority seismic gaps in the Marmara Region and Türkiye, and to carry out training, information and resource sharing activities for this purpose.

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