First Paleo-Fairy Chimney Findings in the Cappadocia Region, Turkey: a Possible Geomorphosite

DOĞAN U., ŞENKUL Ç., Yesilyurt S.

GEOHERITAGE, vol.11, no.2, pp.653-664, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12371-018-0320-1
  • Journal Name: GEOHERITAGE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.653-664


Fairy chimneys are conical, columnar, and mushroom-like erosional landforms sometimes exceeding 10m in height and width that developed on ignimbrite layers in the Cappadocia region of Central Anatolia Volcanic Province. These fairy chimneys, and troglodytes carved into the ignimbrites during the Roman, Seljuk, and Ottoman eras, have turned Cappadocia into a world-renowned site. While there are at least 10 different thick ignimbrite members in Cappadocia, fairy chimneys developed extensively on the Kavak, Zelve, and Cemilkoy ignimbrites. Nevertheless, no paleo-fairy chimney development has been reported in this region so far. The aim of this study is to introduce the first buried paleo-fairy chimney findings that were detected within the Zelve ignimbrite and to explain their formation, geomorphologic evolution processes, and conditions of preservation today. This paper also assesses the establishment of a geomorphosite for the paleo-fairy chimneys in Cappadocia, where geomorphological and historical features represent the main touristic attractions. The buried paleo-fairy chimneys were determined to the northwest of urgup in the Damsa valley and on the eastern slope of Mt. Akda. The fairy chimneys formed inside gullies that cut a paleo-pediment. According to geological and geomorphological observations, we suggest that the perched paleo-pediment and the buried paleo-fairy chimneys were formed at the end of the early Pleistocene. The fairy chimneys might constitute an important geormorphosite location in the northern Cappadocia region.