Friday, 29 January 2016

Basalt pillars on the Bodrum peninsula.



I know very little about geology so welcome more educated comments on this subject, but want to draw your attention to the columns of basalt in the hills above Gümüşlük.  I last visited some 30 or more years ago and had to follow a rough path which headed up from the village, in the general direction of the solitary windmill, and then veered right. I was accompanied by a client who had heard that the rocks signified the meeting point of ley lines and was keen to experience the spiritual vibes. This may explain why I didn't learn much about the geology of the area on this visit.  On Wednesday, we were able to drive to within 50 meters of the rocks and were accompanied by geologist, Ursula, so this time I did learn how these photogenic volcanic rock formations emerged.

The solitary windmill still stands and acts as a signpost to the basalt.  Karakaya village in the background. 
Columns of basalt are formed when basaltic lava, which is hotter and moves faster than other kinds of molten rock, cools relatively rapidly, causing vertical cracks to form which result in the hexagonal shapes you see on the surface. The Giants' Causeway on the North East coast of Ireland is one of the best known examples of this phenomenon and our versions are tiny compared to these but worth a visit nevertheless; sooner rather than later as these rocks have already been cut through to provide an access road to a construction site. 


18 comments:

  1. when you have a 'Ministry for the Environment and Urban Development' you have a recipe for destruction - or an oxymoron!

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    1. This valley is being hit on all fronts - villa construction, stone mine and possible wind turbines.

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  2. Before I finished reading this I thought that your basalt columns were reminisent of the Giant's Causeway. I visited the causeway about three years ago, and found it intriguing. Fingal's Cave on the island of Staffa, Scotland is also formed entirely from hexagonally jointed basalt columns.

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    1. These are tiny, but the structure is fascinating.

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  3. B to B, Thanks for the geology lesson. I liked the photos. Is the windmill still there?

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    1. Too small for that - A fairy's causeway - I should change the title

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  5. I find this type of rock formation fascinating and still have a vivid memory of visiting the Giant's Causeway at the age of 10 and scrambling over the extraordinary columns. I'd never seen anything like them.

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    1. It's all in how and where he lava cooled.

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  6. Dave's very keen to see these. Must get those flights booked - Turkey here we come!!

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  7. Interesting! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. It's nothing like the geology you are seeing in Australia but interesting never the less.

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