The aim of this project is to differentiate and characterize the pyroclastic products from explosive eruptions produced by Açigöl caldera, Hasandağ, and Erciyes stratovolcanoes, which are the most active and largest volcanic structures of the central Anatolian peninsula. This study is necessary to complete the gap in the tephrostratigraphic framework of the easternmost part of Europe and to reconstruct the explosive volcanic history of the region during the upper Pleistocene – Holocene, and therefore, better assess the currently volcanic hazards posed by these volcanoes on the region. The main proximal pyroclastic units of the Central Anatolian Volcanic Province (CAVP) will be identified, mapped, logged, and sampled around major volcanoes. Afterward, their chemical composition and eruption ages will be determined in the laboratory to correlate them to tephra layers deposited in distal records (including sedimentary or paleoclimatic registers). Despite an increasing number of recent studies identified many fine volcanic ash layers that are thought to be from large eruptions of Central Anatolian active volcanoes (e.g. in cores from the Black Sea, Eastern Mediterranean Sea, caves in Egypt, or several small Romanian lakes), little is known about the spatial and temporal scale of explosive volcanism in Turkey. Correlation of these tephra layers by chemical fingerprint is essential to 1) synchronize records and identify their position in high-resolution palaeoenvironmental or archaeological registers, 2) estimate the volume and magnitude of the related eruptions, and 3) determinate how past explosive eruptions could affect the region and its occupants. Such tephrochronologic studies are important to improve our understanding of Anatolian volcanism and to more accurately constrain the hazards that the active volcanoes of CAVP pose to the often-large populations surrounding them (e.g. the 1.3 million people of Kayseri city).
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