Perhaps after the earthquake, Turkey will be left without its famous resort – at least this is how their colleague, a Russian travel blogger, commented on the Yandex.Zen channel on the latest news from “journalists and travel bloggers” that the thermal pools of Pammukale were “suspiciously dried up”. In addition to the earthquake, however, he also named another reason for the “shallowing” of the resort.
More precisely, he first recalled that Pamukkale is known throughout the world for its thermal pools and travertine terraces. “Thanks to them, in 1988 it was even included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Travertine is a special form of limestone that appears under the influence of water from thermal springs, in which various minerals are dissolved, primarily calcium, ”the blogger clarified. He also recalled in detail that these sources have been known since ancient times, once there was an ancient Greek, and then the Byzantine city of Hierapolis, where there were also many thermae – baths erected directly above the sources.
“Today, Pamukkale is an extremely popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Its attendance only briefly fell due to quarantine measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the first half of 2021, for this reason, “only” 150 thousand tourists visited it. But already in the second half of the same year – 1.1 million people. In July and August 2021, 250-270 thousand Turkish and foreign tourists roamed the white travertines. For comparison: in 2020, when anti-COVID restrictions were still in effect, just over 600 thousand people visited Pamukkale. And in 2019, when few people heard about covid, the number of tourists reached 2.6 million people, ”the blogger cites the calculations. And only after that does he answer the question about the “drying up” of sources.
There is indeed such a risk. “In fact, the whole of Turkey is in a seismic zone. There is an assumption that local rock formations and thermal springs arose as a result of earthquakes and tectonic shifts, when mineral-rich water began to break out of the ground, ”says the blogger. Relatively recently, he adds, in September 2016, there was a relatively weak magnitude 4 earthquake, and Pamukkale “had some small collapses of the ancient thermal water pool.” However, it is far from drying out – “now it is filled with fragments of ancient columns and other parts of ancient buildings, but at the same time it is available for everyone to swim,” the blogger says.
But nevertheless, there is a risk of “drying out” of Pammukale, while blogging gives another explanation. Tourists – and local businessmen who profit from them – are to blame, the blogger assures. “Many new hotels and guest houses have been built in Pamukkale. The same water from thermal springs is supplied to the pools with them. This process has been especially active in the last 20 years,” the blogger said. Some measures are being taken – tourists are forbidden to walk on the terraces of the pools in shoes and wash in them with detergents, hoteliers – to build hotels in the immediate vicinity of the pools. But these measures are not enough.
“Most of the location has been completely dry for many years. On the ruins of Hierapolis excavated by archaeologists, one can also see ancient water pipes, through which water from thermal springs was supplied to local baths in ancient times. Again, it is not clear why they dried up: due to new earthquakes or due to too active human activity? – sums up the blogger.
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