Natural Channel Among Marble Ruins at Hierapolis, Turkey

May 18, 2007


Provided and copyright by: Mario Freitas, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná
Summary author: Mario Freitas

The region in Asia Minor carrying the Greek name of Hierapolis (Holy City) exhibits such a profusion of geological features, like fault lines, thermal waters and poisonous gases that ancient civilizations believed there was an entrance at this site to a mythical Underworld. Sparse marble blocks, remaining from magnificent monuments that were put down by successive earthquakes, contrast strongly with a petrified winding formation that seems to merge from the grassy hills (clearly visible at foreground). This channel has been sculptured by nature through secular deposition of calcium carbonate sediments. The archaeological site is worldwide known by its gorgeous travertine terraces, nowadays called Pamukkale (Cotton Castle in the Turkish language) and included since 1988 in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for January 24, 2007.

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