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Fairyland in the Erzurum High Plateau, Eastern Anatolia

  • Fuat ŞaroğluEmail author
  • Yıldırım Güngör
Chapter
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)

Abstract

In morphotectonics of Turkey, the Eastern Anatolian region lies east of Karlıova where the North Anatolian and East Anatolian faults meet. It is located between the Eastern Black Sea Mountains (Pontides Mountains) in the north and the Bitlis Mountains (Eastern Taurus Mountains) in the south. The region has been experiencing active N-S shortening tectonic regime, and consequent narrowing and uplifting since the late Miocene. The landscape has been shaped during this period, and its features can be attributed to the regional tectonic activity. In addition to structural features, intensive and extensive volcanic activity gave the region plateau-like landscapes, which reach 2500–3000 m asl. The plateau is dissected by several fault-controlled depressions (valleys), whereas in areas adjacent to the Black Sea Mountains the plateau surface is still preserved. Erzurum and Kars Plateaus form the best-preserved parts of the regional plateau incised by the drainage system. The primary configuration of fluvial sediments and synchronous volcanic rocks are still retained on the Erzurum Plateau. The best of such kind may be observable in the vicinity of Narman town. There, Plio-Quaternary sediments are incised by the young drainage system, thus leaving behind well-developed erosional features and a dissected landscape. The erosion of red sediments has resulted in the formation of wide valleys and large pinnacles (the so-called fairy chimneys) on the slopes and allows three-dimensional views of the sedimentary sequence. In addition to its beautiful appearance, the area can be treated as a natural museum with unique erosional forms and depositional features. It is therefore recommended that Narman area should be protected as a geopark.

Keywords

Geomorphology Erzurum high plateau Narman red beds Eastern Anatolia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The field study was made possible by Turkish Petroleum Corporation’s projects. Dr. Selim Özalp, Prof. Dr. Erdin Bozkurt, Dr. Ömer Emre and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selami Toprak made considerable contributions during the preparation of the chapter. We are thankful to the mentioned institutions and persons.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Turkish Association for Protection of Geological Heritage (JEMİRKO)Maltepe, AnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Geological Engineering Departmentİstanbul UniversityAvcılar, İstanbulTurkey

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