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Lake Van

  • Ebru AkköprüEmail author
  • Aurélien Christol
Chapter
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)

Abstract

Lake Van is the largest soda lake in the world. It is a terminal lake, surrounded by mountains rising to 3500 m a.s.l. The Lake Van Basin is divided into three geological and morphological units: (1) the mostly metamorphic Bitlis Massif pertaining to the Bitlis suture zone to the south-west; (2) Mesozoic and Tertiary rocks (carbonates and volcanics) between the lake and the Turkish–Iranian border, and (3) volcanoes and volcanic products extending from the west to the north-east of the lake. The variety of the geomorphological landscapes around the lake is exceptionally high, with (i) some of the most impressive dormant volcanoes of Turkey; (ii) young (Late Pleistocene to recent) volcanic features such as a lake-filled caldera on top of the beheaded Nemrut Volcano, the solitary Süphan Volcano (the “Tushpa” God of the Urartians which dominates the lake by >1000 m), the fresh basaltic lava flows of the Tendürek Volcano, etc.; (iii) extensive lake terraces filling large valleys where they record impressive variations in lake level at least since the last 200 ka; (iv) travertine mounds associated with fault lines and river valleys; (v) karstic landscapes in the Bitlis Range and in the Tertiary limestones to the north-west, where they are covered by Nemrut ignimbrites and Süphan basalt and obsidian flows; (vi) glacial imprints on the summits of the Bitlis Range and of the Süphan; (vii) active landslides in marine sediments forming the slopes in the south-eastern basin; (viii) strong influences of tectonics on the relief, etc. Like in all Eastern Anatolia, high altitude pastures attract since millennia long-distance migrations of sheep herds seasonally switching between the southern plateaus in Syria and Iraq in winter, and Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus in summer.

Keywords

Geomorphology Eastern Anatolia Lake Van Volcanoes Palaeogeography 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the “ANOVAN” Project (2006–2009), TUBITAK (ÇAYDAG 105Y125; SOBAG 105Y127), CNRS (ECLIPSE II and PICS), Bosphorus programme of French MAE and TUBITAK, University of Van, CNRS-LGP UMR 8591 and LSCE UMR. Ile-de-France Region, the Universities of Paris 1 and Paris-Diderot have contributed to the financing of the PhD Thesis of both authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyVan Yüzüncü Yıl UniversityVanTurkey
  2. 2.Université de Lyon (Jean Moulin-Lyon3, Faculté des Lettres and Civilisations)LyonFrance

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