What on earth?

Without clicking on the images, can you guess what these are pictures of?

Any ideas? …lichen? …frost pattens? …marble? …computer generated fractals? …a cross section of some weird volcanic rock?

Intriguingly they’re all images I’ve found on Google Maps — specifically in the regions of Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Some of them totally lack any sense of scale — for example, are we miles above the Earth here or are we looking at a close up of lichen on a rock?
What are we looking at here? It almost looks like some weird experiment with glass and lead, until you notice the thin veins of roads etched across the land. The roads appear to lead back to here, although I’ve no idea what or where here is… it looks more like a settlement on a distant planet than somewhere that’s just a few hours away by plane.
Here’s some more…

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