New travertine formation emerges near coastal resort town of Marmaris

Published 02.11.2015 21:46
Updated 02.11.2015 21:52
New travertine formation emerges near coastal resort town of Marmaris

The newly discovered travertines around the Akvaryum Bay in Muğla's Marmaris district, a spot regularly frequented by excursion boats, have the potential to become a tourist attraction that rivals the famous travertine pools of Pamukkale. Reminiscent of the famous Pamukkale travertine terraces in Denizli, the new limestone deposit was discovered by boat owners in Muğla. The new travertine could attract more tourists to the region, according to Turkish Professor Ahmet Ercan. Ercan said this particular travertine "would not turn into white, if there is no water flow. Similar formations are observed when high-temperature water springs emerge from fractures." Underground water with high mineral content leads to the formation of travertines. When the mineral water reaches the surface, it loses carbon dioxide and the remaining calcium oxide is released and finds its way onto stones. "This is why you see white mineral residues. If there is any flora, then the minerals also cover them, creating fossil plants," Ercan explained.

As the underground water flow continues in Denizli, the travertine formation remains in good condition. The hot springs in Pamukkale are terraces of carbonate minerals. The area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. "If the water flow ebbs, then the stones will revert back to their natural color. The travertines in Marmaris prove the existence of underground water with high mineral content," Ercan claimed. He said the temperature of the underground water and its distance can be found if a chemical analysis is performed. To do so, the rates of sodium, potassium and magnesium components must be calculated. Ercan said the emerging travertines might be important for local tourism in Muğla. "I also saw a similar formation in Marmaris' İçmeler district. The water was also warm there. If divers examine the formation, then they might find stones with high mineral content in the sea. The area might look like Pamukkale if the water flow continues in the same direction. We can even promote Marmaris because of these travertines," Ercan said. A significant port town for centuries, Marmaris is a popular tourist attraction with its blue sea and lively atmosphere.

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