2 February 2011

Capadoccia 4

Posted by Callan Bentley

On our second day in Capadoccia, Lily and I went for a walk through one of the valleys that are eroded into the landscape there.

Bas-relief hoodoos emerging from the wall of the canyon:

We came to one area with classic turret-like hoodoos:

Note the gravel layers in that column’s section, and the human at right for scale. The greater resistance to erosion of the upper (presumably ignimbritic ashflow) layer protects the more readily-eroded lower layers (ash fall?), and imparts the phallic shape to these hoodoos.

There was one photogenic area that had a bunch of these distinctive shapes in a cluster:

As we rounded a fin of eroded tuff, two things caught my eye. The first was this nice cross-section through a channel:

The tuff strata were eroded away, presumably by water but perhaps by some ignimbritic process, and the resulting scour was filled with gravel:

Hard to place a sense of scale in these photos. The deepest part of the channel is about 1 m deep. Rounding the fin to the sunlit side, here’s the outcrop of the channel:

A short distance away was a nice normal fault. Here’s a photo on the shady side of the tuff fin, with a lens cap for scale:

And on the other side of the fin, here it is in the sun:

A bit further up the valley, we saw Capadoccia’s answer to Half Dome:

Undercutting and oversteepening by the local stream no doubt undermined this particular “fairy tower,” causing it to partially collapse.

Here’s a similar situation, a block which has slid off the face of the canyon wall (now has trees growing on it in the foreground):

The little “doors” you see on the scarp face are tombs. These are readily distinguished because usually they are high above the valley floor (more inaccessible to looters), walled off, and equipped with a series of small air holes at the top.