Geomorphological Landscapes in the Konya Plain and Surroundings

  • Catherine KuzucuoğluEmail author
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)


Like other large plains of Central Anatolia, the Konya Plain is occupied by deposits and land features recording the past presence of a large lake. Sand beaches and bars, gravel sand lake and coastal fans, fringe the base of low cliffs developed in (i) Neogene lake limestone forming a wide plateau to the north (ca. 1050–1200 m a.s.l.), (ii) Quaternary volcanics in the centre and (iii) Palaeozoic limestone in the south and west. The plain is flat at ca. 980–1000 m a.s.l. and corresponds to the bottom clay of a 4200 km2 large palaeolake. 14C dating performed on Dreissena and mollusc shells collected in quarries exploiting the coastal sand and clay, and also in stream sections and in cores, date the lake to the coldest period of the Last Glacial, the LGM. Together with other formations (e.g. palaeosol, volcanics, alluvial fans), and geomorphological features (e.g. karstic, volcanic, tectonic), these deposits allow understanding today’s landscapes, as well as to reconstruct past landscapes and climates, and their evolution during the late Pleistocene. Tectonically controlled (subsidence), the plain and surroundings are subject to karstic processes. Karstic features are mainly represented by sinkhole (called obruk in Turkish) concentrations in the Obruk Plateau that separates the Konya Plain from the Tuz Gölü Plain. Starting two decades ago in relation to groundwater overuse, the occurrence of new sinkholes, wider and deeper with time, is a matter of great concern in the agricultural areas where they occur, on roads and villages too. Other threats to the environment (e.g. biological diversity, wetlands, soil, water) are linked to resource overuse and sustainability in the context of drying trend since the 1990s.


Central Anatolia Konya Plain Karst Late Pleistocene Water management Palaeoenvironment Volcanoes 



Many results presented here have been obtained in the frame of a programme led by the author and M. Karabıyıkoğlu between 1993 and 1997, and financed mainly by the CNRS (France) and the MTA (Turkey). This programme was also supported by the CNES (France), the LSCE (France), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (France), as well as the TÜBITAK (Turkey), Services of Village Affairs, (Turkey), and the DSI (Turkey). The collaboration was essential with the ORSTOM (today IRD, France), and with many villages and “Yayla” families in the whole area of the Konya Plain and surrounding highlands. Thanks are also addressed to Naim Aydınbelge and his family in Karapınar, and to Prof. Dr. E. Bıçakçı for logistic support.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Physical Geography (LGP, UMR 8591)CNRS, Universities of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Paris 12 U-PecMeudonFrance

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