Chronology and Geomorphological Activity of the Akdag Rock Avalanche (SW Turkey)

Cihan Bayrakdar*, Tolga Gorum, Zeynel Çılğın, Christof Vockenhuber, Susan Ivy-Ochs*, Naki Akçar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Large rock-slope failures are among the primary geohazards in high mountain areas. These rock avalanches and rockslides constitute most of the world’s largest landslide deposits. This study focuses on the formation and geomorphological activity of the Akdag landslide complex located on the southern slope of Mount Akdag, SW Turkey. We employed detailed mapping in the field, spatial and morphometric analysis using GIS and remote sensing technologies, and surface exposure dating with cosmogenic 36Cl to reconstruct the chronology of the landslide complex. For the analysis of cosmogenic 36Cl, we collected 18 surface samples from calcareous boulders within the landslide deposit. Our field mapping shows that the Akdag rock avalanche is a large and active slope failure developed between carbonates and flysch. The rock-avalanche deposits cover an area of 9.8 km2 and together with the primary and secondary slope failures which form the landslide complex, cover an area of 15 km2. The Akdag rock avalanche is one of the largest (3 × 108 m3) known bedrock landslides in Turkey. Cosmogenic 36Cl exposure ages indicate that the main collapse occurred at 8.3 ± 1.4 ka (2σ), followed by secondary failures. We dated one of the latter to 1.1 ± 0.2 ka (2σ). Based on field evidence, we surmise that increased water discharge in the springs along the carbonate-flysch contact zone played a key role in the Early Holocene failure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number295
JournalFrontiers in Earth Science
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Bayrakdar, Gorum, Çılğın, Vockenhuber, Ivy-Ochs and Akçar.


We would like to thank the Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit of Istanbul University (Project number: ONAP 33594 [ID734]) for their support. We are most grateful to the Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics (accelerator mass spectrometry facility) operated by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland for the AMS measurements. We thank Dr. Nasim Mozafari for his collaboration during the sample preparation, Dr. Abdullah Akbaş and Dr. Ozan Kocadağlı for their assistance, and Mücahit Durmuş and Onur Yasan for their support during our fieldwork studies, and Graham H. Lee for proofreading. We sincerely thank the topic editors; Adrian Pfiffner, Tim Davies, John Clague, and Reginald Leonhard Hermanns and three referees for their instructive and thought-provoking comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

FundersFunder number
Reginald Leonhard Hermanns
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
Istanbul ÜniversitesiID734, ONAP 33594


    • Holocene
    • Mount Akdag
    • Western Taurus
    • cosmogenic Cl exposure dating
    • rock avalanche


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