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Geology of Cappadocia   KAPADOKYA
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    Cappadocia Guide » Geology of Cappadocia » 
Cappadocia, divine tableau in natural canvas

Writer: Yavuz İşçen
January 2010/Ankara


Sixty-five years ago two big old continents gradually approached each other which were in north and south in the middle of the period which will be named as Third Period later by the geologists and clash was inevitable at the end. After this clash Anatolia, which is between of the two continents, started to closely pressed together. So two big mountain range, which are named as Toroslar in Anatolia today, are rised in north and south of our country. This rising continued up to the sea level of 4000 m.
Because of the acts of crumpling and rising crust of the earth diffracted in many points. Diffraction points provided the rise of magma from deepness of the earth to face of the earth. Geologists named these points, which magma rises from there to face of the earth, as volcano. Because of this our country is full of many volcanoes. Three important volcanoes in the region which will be named as Cappadocia by historians later need to erupt lava as from these periods. Archaeologists later achieved to reach some findings about this subject. Among these findings wall painting, which belongs to 9000 years ago and shows the mountain of Hasan as erupting lava, was very effective. This finding came from Çatalhöyük Neolithic settlement place which is 200 km far from Cappadocia as the crow files. These three mountains were called as Hasan Mountain, Erciyes Mountain and Melendiz Mountain later by the people who lived here.
Cappadocia  has beauties by the reasons of these three volcanoes. Lava that spurted out from these mountains and other things that spurted out from them accumulated in the region for a very long time. People later discovered that among the solid things which volcanoes spurted out ashes have different importance. Because ashes were covering over very large area by the effect of wind and forming deep layer by coming together. This layer, which later becomes hard and turns to a stone can be easily work up by hand. People gave the name of tufa to these stones.
Today the layer of tufa, which is in the region of Cappadocia changes according to regions and reached up to 100 m of thickness. Whether in the world or in our country there are many volcanoes but there is only one Cappadocia. The main reason of this is three volcanoes’ preparedness of thick tufa layer’s accumulation in the region by spurting out lava at the same time. If the layer of tufa was thin in the course of time it would disappear by the effect of erosion and there will be not any beauty.
Volcanic movements in the region mostly finished in the beginning of the period, which is named as Fourth Period by geologists. After this date a new period started in the region. This new period was defined as corrosion period by the people. Corrosion period which started by the results of wind, rain and natural effects created obvious effects in the course of time. Soil which dragged on by corrosion and hard blocks which could resist against this corrosion brought forward interesting views and formations. These interesting formations could not be interpreted by the people who lived here later and it is decided that sprites could do them. Because of this even today these formations are called ‘fairy chimneys’.
If small pieces of rock on big rocks, transformation of tufa layers to the form of valley and deep canyons are not divine tableau which is painted on a natural canvas, what are they?


Note: This article has been published in “Cappadocia Life and Travel Guide-2010”. It is under protection of the copyrights of the book. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by electronic, mechanical or other means without prior permission from the owner.

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