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Earthquake Induced Sedimentary Structures (Seismites): Geoconservation and Promotion as Geological Heritage (Lake Van-Turkey)

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The Lake Van Basin, located at the collision zone of the Eurasian and Arabian plates, has great potential in terms of geological heritage. The world’s largest soda lake which gives its name to the basin contains magnificent geological structures. Lacustrine deposits of the lake represent important clues about seismic activity during the Late Quaternary in addition to its sedimentological and paleontological background. Seismites—deformational structures which are formed during earthquakes in unconsolidated sediments—are very rare geologic phenomena. These structures, formed by earthquakes of magnitude ≥5 under suitable conditions, provide valuable information about the responsible faults and their seismic repetition frequency for the region. Today, rising awareness of geological heritage is a glimmer of hope for the protection and preservation of these rare structures in the Lake Van Basin for the generations to come. Conservation of these structures will also help the protection of other naturally, historically, and culturally significant geological beauties. The responsibility for the promotion and conservation of these geological heritages should be a mission not only for the hosting country but also for the entire geological community.

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This study is financially supported by Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) Scientific Research Project (114Y216). The authors wish to express their thanks to the editor and anonymous reviewers for their valuable and constructive comments and suggestions. We are also grateful to Linda Worley Yılmaz for the English language editing of the final text.

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Correspondence to Serkan Üner.

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Üner, S., Alırız, M.G., Özsayın, E. et al. Earthquake Induced Sedimentary Structures (Seismites): Geoconservation and Promotion as Geological Heritage (Lake Van-Turkey). Geoheritage 9, 133–139 (2017).

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  • Geological heritage
  • Seismites
  • Late Quaternary
  • Lake Van
  • Turkey