Fairy Chimneys

Especially the geological, geomorphological and climatological features of the area are important in the formation of the fairy chimneys. Rock type, alternation order, layer slope, crack system and petrographic structure are the geological features that are effective in formation. There is a close relationship between the formation of fairy chimney and geomorphological development of the site.

In order for the fairy chimneys to develop, there should be an active slope fomation. Lithological units must be surfaced on this slope.

Fairy chimneys are landforms formed by the effect of geomorphological processes on the original geological structure. Fairy chimneys are typical of arid and semi-arid morphoclimatic regions. Therefore, climatic conditions are important. Falling in the form of heavy downpour, Precipitation causes flood-type flows, selective erosion by taking advantage of the difference in resistance between the layers that make up the formation, so that the slopes are eroded vertically and horizontally, and the fairy chimneys develop.

Fairy chimneys are best seen in areas with horizontally structured pyroclastic material. If the leaning of the slope is more than 70-80 percent, badlands topography develops.

The effect of the wind on the formation of these shapes has not been fully determined. However, some researchers allage that the erosion caused by the friction of strong winds and especially the small grains carried are also effective to some extent.

Fairy chimneys consist of two parts as body and cap. Resistance differences of lithological units are very important in the formation of fairy chimneys. The lithological unit forming the cap is more resistant to corrosion than the unit forming the body. The body is generally made up of tuff, ignimbrite and tuffite, and the cap part is made up of resistant rocks of basaltic, andesitic, dacitic origin. Badlands topography develops where there is no resistant element.Fairy chimneys are not long-lived shapes. The processes that make up the fairy chimney also cause their destruction and disappearance.

Fairy chimneys occur in four stages:

First stage: Transport of non-resistant volcanic deposits and tuffs, exposure of hard lahars and ignimbrite on the slope,

Second stage: Shaping of lahar and ignimbrite by small valleys and carvings along weak lines and fissures by surface flows and flowing waters ,

Third stage: Formation of fairy chimneys. The accumulation of water in the hollows accelerates erosion and the cap protects the tuffs under it against erosion,

Fourth stage: When the tuff layers are eroded, the cap falls down and the fairy chimney collapses.


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