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Climatic and social change during the Little Ice Age in Cappadocia Vicinity, Southern Central Anatolia, Turkey

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Abstract

This study presents the effects of the Little Ice Age (LIA) from ca. 1300 to the mid-nineteenth century in the Cappadocia Vicinity, Turkey and surrounding area. Using historical and geographic data, it focuses on important social-economic problems during the cold period corresponding to the LIA and also the small-scale glacial expansion of Aladağlar Mts. south of Niğde. Archive records of the vicinity together with the literature were examined, and significant historical events were determined. A digital elevation model (DEM) map was drawn up from 1/25,000-scale topographical maps of the Aladağlar Mts. and aerial photos. Socio-economic problems such as drought, famine, breakdown in public order, and epidemics occurred around Cappadocia during the LIA, along with transportation difficulties due to heavy snowfall. Moraines on the Aladağlar Mts. that were created by the deposition of glacial melts are striking due to their newly formed appearance and are located immediately behind the old moraines and on valley slopes at elevations between 3000 and 3100 m. These moraines have advanced 20–50 m along the valleys. The small-scale advance of glaciers in mountainous areas, hardships caused by colder conditions in the lowlands, and difficulties of human adaptation are all important indicators of the LIA.

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Correspondence to Türkan Bayer Altın.

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Bayer Altın, T., Kaya, M. Climatic and social change during the Little Ice Age in Cappadocia Vicinity, Southern Central Anatolia, Turkey. Reg Environ Change 20, 16 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-020-01604-x

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Keywords

  • Drought
  • Socio-economic effects
  • Little Ice Age
  • Aladağ mountains
  • Cappadocia