Effects of the Karacadag Volcanic Complex on the thermal structure and geothermal potential of southeast Anatolia


BULLETIN OF VOLCANOLOGY, cilt.80, 2018 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 80 Konu: 6
  • Basım Tarihi: 2018
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s00445-018-1228-y


The Karacadag Volcanic Complex (KVC) is the largest volcanic unit in SE Turkey. It is also defined as a shield volcano on the northernmost part of the Arabian Plate. The main goal of this study is to investigate the geothermal potential of this region associated with the magnetic signature of this volcanic complex and surrounding area. Besides this primary objective, the possibility of there being volcanic intrusion into the buried fault zones under the volcanic cover are also investigated to determine the interrelations between the active tectonics and heat flow in the area. A spectral analysis method is applied to the magnetic anomalies of the volcanic rocks to identify the Curie point depth (CPD) and geothermal gradient, as well as to estimate heat flow and radiogenic heat production of radioactive minerals in the complex. A tilt angle map is also presented, in correlation with instrumentally recorded earthquake magnitudes, to indicate tectonic trends that are consistent with the maps of the thermal parameters in this study. In contrast with expectations for the KVC area, the region around Akcakale and Suruc Grabens is the most prolific zone for geothermal potential, despite them not showing strong magnetic anomalies. Curie point depths are shallow, down to 18 km. around the Akcakale Graben, and deeper, down to 22 km, around the Bitlis-Zagros Suture Zone where the geothermal gradients increase from 26 to 32 degrees C km(-1) through the graben area. Heat flows in this zone are in the range from 75 to 90 mW m(-2) depending on the thermal conductivity coefficient (2.3, 2.5, 2.7, and 3.0 W m(-1) K-1) used. Radiogenic heat production values also indicate slightly changing spectra in the range 0.19 to 0.25 mu W m(-3)). None of these parameters are focused around Mt. Karacadag. However, the earthquake epicenters (generally M <= 4) are aligned with the boundary faults of the Akcakale Graben where the CPD, geothermal gradient, and heat flow maps indicate relatively high potential. We thus suggest that this graben area would be good for future geothermal exploration. On the contrary, considering the low geothermal gradient and heat flow values, Mt. Karacadag can be accepted as being an extinct volcano, despite its apparent, high, magnetic anomalies.