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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. 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.
Karakhanian et al. (2002) reported historical evidence for a phreatic eruption and pyroclastic flow at the time of a July 1840 earthquake and landslide.
(Karakhanian A, Djrbashian R, Trifonov V, Philip H, Arakelian S, Avagian A, 2002. Holocene-historical volcanism and active faults as natural risk factors for Armenia and adjacent countries. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 113: 319-344. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0377-0273(01)00264-5)