Human Effects And Degradation Processes On The Aegean Coastal Zone
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The subject of this study is to explain the human effects and degradation processes on the Aegean coastal zone. The Aegean coastal zone is different from other coastal zones of Turkey because of its geologic structure, geomorphologic evolution and natural environment properties. As a consequence of this, the Aegean Sea and coasts are of great importance to Anatolian civilization history. As is well known, the Aegean coastal zone has been settled since prehistoric ages and is intensively used and settled nowadays. At present, the Aegean coastal zone has also important environmental problems such as salinization of delta soils, pollution of surface and ground water resources and loss of wetlands due to densely agricultural and tourism activities, and heavy urbanization. Keywords: Aegean coast, human effect, human activities, degradation processes. 1 Introduction The Aegean coastal area of Turkey has a coastal strip with 2593 km of length lying down from Baba foreland in the north to Marmaris bay in the south. The gologic nature, geomorphologic evolution, natural landscape and ecologic characteristics of this coastal zone are different from those of other coasts of Turkey. The mountain ranges lie perpendicular to the sea and flat plains generally extending from east to west take place between them. The long rivers found in these plains have created their large and fertile deltas where they are flowing into the sea by the course of time. These are deltas of Bakırçay, Gediz, Little Meander and Great Meander (Figure 1). The Aegean sea and its coasts have an important position in Anatolia civilization history due to their geographic environmental characteristics. Adramyttion in Edremit plain, Elaia in Bakırçay delta, Leukai in Gediz delta,
Aegean coast, human effect, human activities, degradation processes.