On the value of dolines in gypsum terrains as a "Geological Heritage": an example from Sivas basin, Turkey
Karst topography is a landscape shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually limestone and evaporites. Karstification in the Sivas basin (Turkey) has sculpted a beautiful landscape with a distinctive beauty and appeal for both local inhabitants and visitors. Dolines are very special geological landscape features found in karst regions, and the Sivas basin has several giant dolines amongst its thousands of smaller dolines. The basin constitutes a distinctive karst architecture with a system of collapse and/or dolines and caves. Anyone who walks along the shores of a lake resulting from the collapse, in this gypsum terrain, will be amazed with the lake and rocks that surround them. In this paper, dolines in the gypsum terrain are evaluated and discussed according to their value as a "Geological Heritage". Three main characteristics of dolines, namely their scientific, aesthetic and ecosystem importance are considered and discussed. Dolines and karstified areas as representative examples of landform types possess the three attributes for them to be considered as a Geological Heritage in that they demonstrate the effect of erosion on the landform, geomorphic processes that are still active and a range of features characteristic of the rock unit involved.