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The Formation of Antalya Travertine Deposit and Karstic Ground Water Systems

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Karstic landforms that have formed from both the dissolution of limestone and the accumulation of calcium bicarbonate as the result of evaporation in the water have a special topographic form and habitat. Travertine deposits of calcium carbonate can dominate channel geomorphology in streams where travertine deposition creates a distinct morphology characterized by travertine terraces, steep waterfalls, and large pools. Algae and microorganisms can facilitate travertine deposition, but how travertine affects material and energy flow in stream ecosystems is less well understood (Marks et al, 2006).

Travertines are largely physico-chemical settlements formed by thermal and hydrothermal sourced spring waters and microbial agents are frequently found inside. These are usually characterized by frequently thin laminated and bush-like bacterial growth structures of solid crystal (Chafetz and Folk, 1984; Guo and Riding, 1998; Özkul et al, 2002).

The Pliocene and Early Quaternary travertines are exposed in the vast area around the Antalya region. Travertine is the major sub grade formation in this area. For geological and geotechnical purposes the Antalya travertine can be divided into three different groups as follows: spongy, weak, and massive travertine. Geomorphologically, the travertine is dissected into four major plateaus, namely the Dösemealti, the Varsak, the Düden, and the Arapsuyu (Kılıç and Yavuz, 1994).

Antalya travertine deposits have produced the flat land lying on the terrace levels. Ground water, rivers, and karstic springs supply drinking and irrigation waters. In addition to this, the rivers flowing on the upper terrace level produce hydroelectric energy (Kepez hydroelectric power plant). Most parts of the Antalya city settlement areas have been set up on travertine deposits.

The travertine formation in the study area is controlled mainly by the paleoclimatic fluctuations, and the periods of growth are connected with the improving climatic phases.

The introduction to and study of Antalya travertine/tufa formations have been the focus of interest by various researchers (Darkot and Erinç 1948; Alagöz 1943; Atalay 1987, 1996; Aydar and Dumond 1979; Güldalı 1970, 1981; Robertson and Woodcock 1982) In these studies, it was determined that chemical corrosion, which has caused karstic sedimentation in Taurus, was isochronal while Antalya travertines and the age of the travertines may be younger than upper Pliocene. Additionally, a relationship has been established between sea level changes and the formation of travertine plateaus. Through observation of vegetal evidence, Planhol (1956) has shown that these carbonates were formed by cold spring waters. İnan's (1985) study has been established over-formation mechanisms and explained travertine formations by four basic facieses distinction.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5848/CSP.1087.00006

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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