Mount Erciyes, Hasandagi and Golludag were active
volcanoes in the geological periods. Alongside with many
other volcanoes, eruptions of these volcanoes started in
the Early Miocene (10 million years ago) and have
continued until the present day.
The lava produced by
these volcanoes, under the Neogene lakes, formed a layer of tufa on the plateaus,
which varied in hardness and was between 100 and 150m thick. Other substances in
the layer are ignimbrite, soft tufa, tufa, lahar, ash, clay, sandstone, marn,
basalt and other agglomerates.
Plateaus, having been essentially shaped with the lava
from the bigger volcanoes, were continuously altered
with the eruptions of smaller volcanoes. Starting in the
Early Pliocene Period, the rivers in the area,
especially Kizilirmak (the Red River), and local lakes
contributed to the erosion of this layer of tufa stone,
eventually giving the area its present day shape.
Another characteristic feature of the area is the sweeping
curves on the sides of the valleys, formed by rainwater. The array of colors
seen on some of the valleys is due to the difference in heat of the lava layers.
Such patterns can be seen in Uchisar, Cavusin/ Güllüdere, Goreme/ Meskendir,
Ortahisar/Kizilçukur and Pancarlik valleys.