Following the collision along the Bitlis-Zagros suture, a north-south convergence between the Arabian Platform and Laurasia has continued uninterrupted until the present. As a result, the continental crust has been shortened, thickened and consequently elevated to form the Turkish-Iranian high plateau. On the high plateau volcanic activity began during the Neogene, intensified during the late Miocene-Pliocene and continued until historical times. Large volcanic centres have been developed during the Quaternary which form significant peaks above the Turkish-Iranian high plateau. Among the Quaternary volcanoes, the major volcanic centres are Ararat, Tendurek, Suphan and Nemrut. Ararat (Agri Dagi) is the largest volcanic center and is a compound stratovolcano, consisting of Greater Ararat and lesser Ararat. The former represents the highest elevation of Anatolia reaching over 5000 m in height. Tendurek is a double-peaked shield volcano, which produced a voluminous amount of basalt lava as extensive pahoehoe, and aa flows. It has an ill-defined semi-caldera. Suphan is an isolated stratovolcano, capped by silicic dome. It represents the second highest topographic elevation in Anatolia, with a height of over 4000 m. A cluster of subsidiary cones and small domes surrounds the volcano. Nemrut is the largest member of a group of volcanoes, which trend north-south. It it; a stratovolcano, having a well-defined collapse caldera and a caldera lake. Various volcanic ejecta have been extruded from these volcanic centres over the last 1 to 2 million years. The Quaternary volcanic centres, although temporally and spatially closely associated, display a wide range of lavas from basalt to rhyolite. The volcanoes have diverse compositional trends; Ararat is distinctly subalkaline, Suphan is mildly subalkaline, Nemrut is mildly alkaline and Tendurek is strongly alkaline. The major and trace element compositions together with the isotope ratios indicate that their magmas were generated. from a heterogeneous mantle source. Each of the volcanic centres has undergone a partly different magmatic evolution. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.