In the Footsteps of Strabon: Mount Erciyes Volcano—The Roof of Central Anatolia and Sultansazliği Basin

  • Erkan AydarEmail author
  • Erdal Şen
  • Mehmet Akif Sarıkaya
  • Catherine Kuzucuoğlu
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)


Mount Erciyes is a majestic stratovolcano (3300 km2) dominating Central Anatolian landscape. Its summit is 3917 m high from its base, located at around 1000 m from sea level (e.g., Sultansazlığı basin). The name of Mount Erciyes derives from ancient Greek (Argyros), cited also by Strabon the well-known geographer of Antiquity, who gives a detailed description of it in his famous “Geographika”. According to geological researches performed mainly during the last four decades, the Pliocene and Quaternary evolution of the volcano exhibits two distinct stages: (1) Koç Dağ and (2) Erciyes. Results from cosmogenic as well as 14C dating show that several eruptions occurred during the Early Holocene (ca. 10–8 ka ago). During the Last Glacial Maximum (20,000 years ago), glaciers developed in several valleys of Mount Erciyes, mainly on the northern and eastern sides of the mountain. Today’s landforms at the summit are deeply related to these glacial and periglacial events (Oliva et al. 2018). The beauty of the volcano is also enriched at its foot by the presence of a worldwide known wetland system that Turks call the “Bird Paradise” or the “Marshes of the Sultan”. The plain occupied by these wetlands also contains the sediment archives of climate changes and tectonic impacts during the Pleistocene.


Erciyes Volcanism Ignimbrite Basalt Glaciation Strabon Turkey 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erkan Aydar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erdal Şen
    • 1
  • Mehmet Akif Sarıkaya
    • 2
  • Catherine Kuzucuoğlu
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geological EngineeringHacettepe UniversityBeytepe, AnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, İstanbul Technical UniversityMaslakTurkey
  3. 3.Laboratory of Physical Geography (LGP, UMR 8591)CNRS, Universities of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Paris 12 U-PecParisFrance

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