VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS & GEOLOGICAL FORMATION
Mount Erciyes, Hasandagi and Golludag were active volcanoes in the geological periods. Alongside with many other volcanoes, eruptions of these volcanoes started in the Early Miocene (10 million years ago) and have continued until the present day.
The lava produced by these volcanoes, under the Neogene lakes, formed a layer of tufa on the plateaus, which varied in hardness and was between 100 and 150m thick. Other substances in the layer are ignimbrite, soft tufa, tufa, lahar, ash, clay, sandstone, marn, basalt and other agglomerates.
Plateaus, having been essentially shaped with the lava from the bigger volcanoes, were continuously altered with the eruptions of smaller volcanoes. Starting in the Early Pliocene Period, the rivers in the area, especially Kizilirmak (the Red River), and local lakes contributed to the erosion of this layer of tufa stone, eventually giving the area its present day shape.
Another characteristic feature of the area is the sweeping curves on the sides of the valleys, formed by rainwater. The array of colors seen on some of the valleys is due to the difference in heat of the lava layers. Such patterns can be seen in Uchisar, Cavusin/ Güllüdere, Goreme/ Meskendir, Ortahisar/Kizilçukur and Pancarlik valleys.