Sinan Aygül / Duvar

Locals have been lately observing bursts of steam rising from the top of Mount Nemrut, a dormant volcano, in the borders of Tatvan district in Turkey’s eastern province of Bitlis.

This situation has raised concern due to speculations that the dormant volcano can become active again once triggered by earthquakes. As the region has observed several earthquakes in recent months, most of which are aftershocks, locals have become worried about the possibility of speculations becoming true.

Experts do not yet know if the the unusual bursts of steam coming from the mountain is a result of the recent earthquakes or a volcanic movement. They have pointed out that the steam needs to be analyzed and the situation needs to be followed in line with scientific methods.

Prof. Dr. Aydın Büyük Saraç, who was overseeing a research concerning Nemrut Crater Lake between 2016-2019, said that the recent bursts of steam coming from the mountain is unusual and should be looked into.

“There are many fault lines around Mount Nemrut. If these fault lines are ruptured, theoretically a [volcanic] movement can occur in Mount Nemrut. This is always a possibility,” Saraç said, indicating that a sample from the “steam” should be taken and analyzed.

Saraç was also asked to comment on speculations that the extinct volcone can once again become active in the aftermath of a series of earthquakes.

“Observations show that the existence of steam and hot water outbursts [from the mountain] as well as the continuous displacement of hot water in the crater’s hot water sections are the most important indicators that the volcano can still be active,” he said.