Hidden calderas evidenced by multisource geophysical data; example of Cappadocian Calderas, central Anatolia


JOURNAL OF VOLCANOLOGY AND GEOTHERMAL RESEARCH, vol.85, pp.99-128, 1998 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The Cappadocian volcanic field in central Anatolia (Turkey) is characterised by a sequence of 10 Neogene ignimbrites. The associated calderas have been partly dismantled and buried by subsequent tectonic and sedimentary processes and, therefore, cannot be readily recognized in the field. Recent progress in the understanding of the stratigraphic correlations and flow patterns has identified two main probable source al eas for the ignimbrites. Detailed study of these areas, based on gravity surveys, remote sensing data (SPOT and ERS1 images) and digital elevation models (DEM), has provided evidence for two major caldera complexes and their relationship to old stratovolcanoes and Neogene tectonics. The older Nevsehir-Acigol caldera complex, located between the towns of Acigol, Nevsehir and Cardak, is inferred to be the source of the Kavak and Zelve ignimbrites. The Nevsehir-Acigol caldera complex is defined mainly by a -35 mGal circular gravimetry anomaly about 15 km in diameter. The boundaries of this, now buried, caldera complex are shown by high gradients on the Bouguer gravity anomaly map. The younger Derinkuyu caldera complex, located between the Erdas stratovolcano and the Ciftlik basin, is inferred to be the source of the Sarimaden, Cemilkoy, Gordeles and Kizilkaya ignimbrites. It is well-defined by a rectangular (35 x 23 km) gravity low (-30 mGal) with a positive high (+ 20 mGal) in the center. Gravity, remote sensing data and the DEM provide evidence that the Erdas stratovolcano, on the northern margin of the Derinkuyu caldera complex, represents the remnants of a large stratovolcano partly cut by one or more caldera collapses. The positive anomaly within the Derinkuyu caldera complex is centered on the 15-km-wide Sahin Kalesi volcanic massif. Field evidence and structural features inferred from the DEM and remote sensing data strongly suggest that this massif is a resurgent doming associated with the Gordeles ignimbrite eruption. High-resolution ERS1, SPOT and DEM images reveal that the transtensive regime, active at least since the Miocene, influenced the location of eruptive centers and caldera complexes in Cappadocia. The two caldera complexes are located in transtensive grabens. The subsidence of these grabens, continuing after the caldera collapse events, most likely resulted in the burying of the calderas and could explain the difficulties in identifying them in the field. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.