Numerous active and inactive fissure-ridge travertines are located in the hanging wall of the Pamukkale range-front fault, a large normal fault bounding the northeast side of the Denizli Basin. A typical principal fissure-ridge comprises flanking bedded travertines dipping gently away from a nearly vertical, irregular central fissure, partially filled by vertically banded travertine. More complex ridges bear parasitic fissures and associated ridges on their flanks. Fissures roughly follow the long axes of ridge crests, some of them being divided into angular segments and others anastomosing. The traces of fissures are commonly parallel but some are oblique to one another. Fissures vary in width from a few millimeters to 5 m, and range in length from a few meters to a few kilometers. The widths of central fissures are at a maximum near the midpoints of ridges, but decrease toward both ends, suggesting that they grew in length over time. Lateral fissure development involved the opening of both new and old cracks, some of which propagated into former process zones at crack tips. Fissures increase in width with depth either gradually or in a series of steps, depending on whether there was a uniform rate of fissure dilation during travertine deposition or episodic dilation during fracture propagation. The characteristic irregular morphology of fractures probably reflects extension-fracture propagation in differential stress fields that were weak as a consequence of location near the earth's surface. The fissures probably express a set of subsidiary extension fractures splaying from the Pamukkale range-front fault into its hanging wall. © 1996 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.