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

Erkan Aydar*, Erdal Şen, Mehmet Akif Sarıkaya, Catherine Kuzucuoğlu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


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 as14C 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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Geomorphological Landscapes
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameWorld Geomorphological Landscapes
ISSN (Print)2213-2090
ISSN (Electronic)2213-2104

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Basalt
  • Erciyes
  • Glaciation
  • Ignimbrite
  • Strabon
  • Turkey
  • Volcanism


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