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The Kula–Salihli UNESCO Geopark: Spectacular records of Quaternary volcanism, fluvial and landscape evolution and Quaternary environmental change

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Darrel Maddy


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© 2022 Elsevier Ltd. The Kula–Salihli UNESCO Geopark, western Turkey, is a tectonically and volcanically active region in which the most recent eruptions of basaltic lava, associated with scoria cone formation, were during the latest Pleistocene and the Holocene. Much older volcanism within the same volcanic province is also in evidence, with some of the older lavas capping mesa-style uplands, such that they have preserved underlying poorly consolidated sediments that would otherwise have been lost to erosion. Beneath these hill-capping lavas, above the Neogene sediments representing endorheic basin-fill, are the early gravels of the River Gediz system, forming narrowly separated terraces (separation by a few metres) thought to have been formed in response to the ~ 41 kyrs obliquity-driven climate cycles of the Early Pleistocene. The rarity of terrace preservation from this early part of the Quaternary makes this a very valuable part of the geopark, in which there is also evidence for the progressive incision into the landscape, and for periodic damming of the river system by lava eruptions, bringing about lacustrine phases that can be recognized from lake sediments and deltas that were built into the former lakes. The combination of volcanic and drainage evolutionary evidence has few if any parallels elsewhere. The geopark, which also contains sites of archaeological and historical importance, is managed sustainably in order to maximize its educational, economic, touristic and heritage value.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Aytac AS, Demir T, Maddy D, Bridgland DR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Geologists' Association

Year: 2022

Pages: Epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 16/09/2022

Acceptance date: 28/06/2022

ISSN (print): 0016-7878

Publisher: Geologists' Association


DOI: 10.1016/j.pgeola.2022.06.008


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