Space Shuttle Image taken 9.14.94. Image Credit: NASA
Ararat is the largest and highest volcano in Turkey. Ararat is a stratovolcano. In the above image, north is to the lower left. The border with Armenia is 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the summit and is roughly along the left edge of the image. Ararat has not erupted in historic time. The most recent eruption was probably in the last 10,000 years. The volcano is thought to be the resting place of Noah's ark. The observation of vessel-shaped features in aerial photographs of Ararat caused a stir in the late 1950s. Expeditions found the features to be landslides and lava flows.
The cause of volcanism in eastern Turkey has not been established. Some geologists argue that the Arabian plate is being subducted beneath the Eurasian plate. However, the region lacks moderate and deep earthquake activity common to most subduction zones. An alternative model proposes renewed subduction of continental lithosphere. A third model proposes that volcanism is related to shear along the contact of the two plates.