Geological Fault of Aydarlyash
It is a fracture in the Earth’s surface that allows scientists to research the geological history of our planet.
In Kazakhstan, a curious traveler can not only admire stunning landscapes but also unravel the past and learn more about the Earth's history. The geological fault of Aydarlyash in Aktobe Province lifts the veil of secrecy of the origin of the Earth’s crust and its evolution.
This natural object was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century, when scientists found fossils on the steep bank of the Aydarlyash River. Then, numerous other remains of ancient plants and animals were found there. Unique finds such as shark teeth prove that a tropical body of salt water was once located on the territory of present-day Aktobe Province. The fault stretches for 1.5 kilometers (0.9 mi) in length and 200 meters (218 yd) in width. The fracture looks like a cliff standing 50 meters (164 ft) tall.
The fault is not only a natural wonder, it is of great scientific importance for geologists and biologists. With every layer belonging to different periods, the fault allows scientists to understand the development of the Earth's crust. Scientists have discovered layers belonging to the Permian and the Carboniferous geologic periods of the Paleozoic Era.
In 1996, at the International Geological Congress in China, the fault of Aydarlyash was included in the international register of geological monuments.
Useful tips for 2021–2022
How to get there
The geological fault of Aydarlyash is located 45 km (28 mi) from the city of Aktobe. To get there, first drive to the village of Akjar, Khromtau District. Then, head west and drive about 10 km (6 mi) towards the Aydarlyash River. On its right bank, on the border between the Kyzyljar District and the Khromtau District, you’ll find the fault. Not all travelers manage to find it on their own, therefore we recommend you to contact local travel agencies for information or ask local residents (you’ll likely meet shepherds) for the right directions.
Since the site is a unique natural monument that has not been fully explored and studied yet, be sure to step very carefully so as not to harm the geological heritage.
Food and accommodation
The village of Akjar offers small guest houses and grocery stores. For a more comfortable stay, drive to Khromtau or Kargaly, which have economy-class hotels with cafes, saunas, Internet access, and parking lots. In general, the road from Aktobe to the fault is not very long and tiring, but be sure to bring drinking water, some food, and personal hygiene products with you. Also, put comfortable shoes and clothes on, as the visit to the fault may require a bit of climbing.