6 comments on “Mount Ararat, the Biblical Mountain

  1. Another really great article Agimarc. You are taking us on an excursion around the globe of all the places where you really wouldn’t expect much volcanism, but – well there is it is.. Looks like another bit of very complicated bit of crustal tectonics.

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  2. Interesting! I had the same problem as you: why are there volcanoes here? And not small ones: Elbrus (which I wrote about recently) is the tallest volcano in Europe, and even in Eurasia (only Africa and South America have taller volcanoes). The only suggestion I came across that made sense is some extension in the crust due to the rotation of the Arabian peninsula.

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    • Howdy Albert –

      Thank you for your kind words. Enjoyed your Elbrus post.

      You might be right about extension being the mechanism sourcing the magma, though I would tie it more to the westward movement of the Anatolian block than rotation of Arabian Peninsula. But as complex as the tectonics of the region are, who knows?

      The existence of a few large separated stratovolcanoes here reminds me of the region around Baitoushan, another stratovolcano surrounded by two other stratovolcanoes in an extension / upwelling province in China.

      The other thing that occurred to me is that the magma source might be either intermittent or choking off as the 1840 eruption was pyroclastic, meaning perhaps the magma was becoming evolved.

      Cheers –

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    • I agree, that’s one fascinating setting. If I understand right, volcanism here would be the result of the thinning of the crust where it had been squeezed and thickened before: While the Arabian plate collides with the Eurasian in N-S direction, the Anatolian plate “escapes” from between the two to the SW, leaving behind a triangle of stretched oceanic lithosphere – remnants of the crust that was below the Thetys ocean. This area is a conundrum of transform faults and remnant blocks.

      Which, btw., was once subducted by the Arabian plate. “Voluminous magma generation is thought to have been promoted by slab steepening and break-off in the Middle Miocene, suggesting that the mantle lithosphere is either very thin or absent beneath a considerable part of the area.” So, volcanism could also still occur from the former subduction. Or a combination of both.

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  3. The status of G. Agung has been lowered from level 4 (AWAS) to level 3 (SIAGA). Activities are still restricted in all areas within a radius of 6 km from the crater with an additional expansion to North-Northeast and Southeast-South-Southwest to 7.5 km. However, an eruption can still occur anytime, so preparation for heavy ash fall and other eruption-related problems should be maintained. (see press release on MAGMA)
    The status was changed on the grounds of declining seismic activity. Even though inflation is not declining, it is not rising either. So, it is still anyone’s guess where developments go from here.

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