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Pamukkale, Turkey EarthCache

Hidden : 02/20/2007
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:




Known as Pamukkale (pronounced pah-mook-kah-leh) (Cotton Castle) or ancient Hierapolis (Holy City). The Ancient City of Hierapolis gained popularity when its calcium springs were discovered by the Romans to have curative properties. The Romans presented the city as a gift to the King of Pergamon, Eumenes II, which he named Hierapolis, in honor of Hiera, the wife of the founder of the Pergamene Dynasty, Telesphorus. The ancient city was located on the top of the hill near the white terraces at the beginning of the 2nd century BC and is about 2700 meters long and 160m high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley. It has 14000 year-old existence. Severe earthquakes destroyed the city in 133 BC, and again in 60 AD. Following the latter, Hierapolis was rebuilt by the Romans. Another earthquake in the early 7th century caused significant damage but the city was only abandoned for good after the earthquake of 1354. What remains is predominantly the ruins of the Roman city. The white cotton-like terraces are mineral deposits which come from Cal Mountain’s rich spring waters and volcanic springs that were saved since thousand years. The water runs down the travertine and fill them up with water and there is a pool where you can have a chance to swim among the ancient Roman columns. Pamukkale is one of Turkey’s incomparable natural wonder with the calcium cascade terraces of snow white stalactites and is known as 8th wonder of the World by Turkish people.Together with the ruins of Hierapolis, Pamukkale is now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. Before the designation, the terraces were in danger of being destroyed through a combination of neglect and commercial development. Hotels were built at the top of the site, partly obscuring ruins of Hierapolis , and wear and tear from the feet and shoes of visitors had scarred and turned many of the pools brown. Efforts to protect the delicate natural phenomenon have dramatically changed the area. Hotels have been demolished, and in an effort to allow the pools natural white appearance to be maintained, access to the pools is tightly restricted, and water released from the spring is controlled and only distributed to a few pools at a time. Artificial pools for bathing tourists have been added. To keep the travertine white and to prevent crush and damage on them, in 1997 it was forbidden to walk on them and the water is allowed to reach the terraces periodically according to weekly watering schedule. But it is possible to walk on the south part of the travertine with naked foot. Although natural phenomenon like this is exceedingly rare, a similar but smaller set of travertine pools exist in Huanglong, China. Sadly, another site beloved by Victorian settlers in New Zealand was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1886.

Pamukkale Legend

There was a young girl who was unmarried and ugly. As no one wanted to marry her, she decided to commit suicide and she threw herself off the travertine and fell into a natural pool but did not die. Because of the water in the natural pool she turned into a very beautiful girl and caught the attraction of the lord of Denizli while he was passing by. At that moment, the lord fell in love with this young and beautiful girl and they soon got married. So, in addition to the curing effects of the water, people also believe in the beautifying power of the water. As the water is useful, this land has been a place where people visit periodically for beauty and health since the ancient times. So the reason for Pamukkale to be an attractive place is not only the natural travertine, but also the healing waters. The mineral water of Pamukkale helps recovering the high blood pressure, kidney stones, stroke, rheumatism, nervous and physical exhaustion, eye and skin diseases, circulatory problems, digestive maladies, nutritional disorders and chronic disorders. Pamukkale became a spa resort today and the center of a pagan cult in antiquity.

How to get there

The nearest city to Pamukkale is Denizli("a locality by the sea")—18km away—which has frequent minibuses running from the bus station and the pools. If you’re in the surrounding cities you can either take a bus to Denizli or rent a car and drive yourself. Kusadasi is three hours, Antalya and Marmaris are four, and Bodrum is five. There are three entrances to the terraces. The Pamukkale town entrance is the most scenic— you walk up the travertines in your bare feet, it takes 20-30 minutes and there is no parking fee.

Entrance fee and opening hours:Click Me.


Earth Lesson

Sedimentary Rocks

Somewhere deep in the earth beneath Pamukkale and the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis lies a vast source of water heated by volcanic lava. The water dissolves pure white calcium, becomes saturated with it, and carries it to the earth's surface, where it bursts forth and runs down a steep hillside. Approximately 400,000 years ago, modern Asia Minor experienced a series of devastating earthquakes. This resulted in the shifting in the valley of the Menderes River (historically the Maeander or Meander) and caused for the thermal waters lashing out to the surface. The hot springs which were created, as a result of this phenomenon, began to flow down to the surface of the plateau with incredible speeds (hundreds of liters per second). While these flowed, they simultaneously began to evaporate in the sun and cooling in the open air, the calcium precipitates from the water, adheres to the soil, and forms white calcium "cascades" frozen in stone called travertines terraces and fancy slopes, which were filled with turquoise water. Because the water was saturated with carbonated calcium, the sediments, when solidified, resulted in the formation of white crystalline surfaces, terraces, stalactites, and pools. The mineral-rich Pamukkale hot spring waters are high in calcium, magnesium sulfate and bicarbonate. They also contain carbon dioxide and have a radioactive content of 1,537 picokuri/liter (or 56 bekerel/liter). Water temperature is 36 to 38 C with a pH of 6. Total mineral content is 2,430 mg/It. The waters are used for drinking and bathing. They are recommended for the treatment of rheumatic, dermatological and gynecological diseases, neurological and physical exhaustion, digestive maladies and nutritional disorders. Pamukkale travertine is a type of limestone deposited at the mouth of the spring. Thermal sources on an important fault line of western Anatolia in Pamukkale are warmed up by subterranean heat and come out at 33-36 C. The chemical reaction from the start to the end is: Ca (HCO3)2 >> CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O According to the theocratic researches, flowing water can whiten approximately 4.9 km2 with 1 mm deposit. Running of the water in the same area for 14000 years, causes moss in travertine and spoil the whiteness. In this area, there are 17 hot water springs in which the temperature ranges from 35 °C (95 °F) to 100 °C (212 °F). The water that emerges from the spring is transported 320 metres (1,050 ft) to the head of the travertine terraces and deposits calcium carbonate on a section 60 to 70 metres (200 to 230 ft) long covering an expanse of 24 metres (79 ft) to 30 metres (98 ft).

Logging This Earthcache
1. Why is the temperature of the water app. 35 degrees Celsius? ?
2. What do you call the structure form, hanging down from the "pools" and "terrasses/travertines"? These forms are made of Limestone ;o) The word I am looking for starts with a also find these in caves.
3. Witch big organization have had a big influence of saving Pamukkale ?
5. Optional, a photo of you and/or your GPSr that was taken at the posted co-ordinates would be appreciated..

You can send your answers using via geocaching email services, then you can log the cache as found it. I will contact you if there's any problem.

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