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Karaca Volcano and Khabur Valley, Turkey and Syria

37.6N 39.8E

August 16th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Turkey and Syria - May 17th, 2009

Turkey and Syria - May 17th, 2009

Of particular interest in this image, which spans from the Kurdish Mountains in eastern Turkey (above) to the Khabur River basin in northern Syria (below), is the Karaca Volcano, whose peak appears brown encircled by light green at the center left.

Karaca is a broad, 1957-meter-high basaltic shield volcano in southeastern Turkey about 100 km north of the Syrian border. The volcano lies on the Arabian foreland about 150 km southwest of the boundary with the Anatolian Plate and has been active since the Pliocene along a north-to-south trending set of fissures and craters. Some lava flows, particularly those on the east flank, may perhaps be only a few thousand years old.

South of the volcano is an agricultural district, Ceylanpınar, on the border with Syria. To the southeast, more agriculture can be seen in the Khabur Valley across the Syrian border. These fields are irrigated thanks to work from the Khabur River Project, begun in the 1960s, which involved the construction of a series of dams and canals.

The Khabur Valley, which now has about four million acres (16,000 km²) of farmland, is Syria’s main wheat-cultivation area. The northeastern part is also the center for Syria’s oil production.

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