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The Peculiar Geology of Mount Voio – Rare Fossils


The Peculiar Geology of Mount Voio – Rare Fossils

The area of Voio used to be part of the seabed of an ancient sea, Tethys. The process of transforming the seabed of an ancient sea into today’s landscape lasted tens of millions of years. The recession of Tethys 20 million years ago left behind a level area covered in sand. As time passed, the hundreds of thousands of tons of sand were drifted away by streams, revealing a vast rocky area of bluestone. The clash of the tectonic plates of Africa and Eurasia gradually elevated the area, creating today’s mountains. Not all types of bluestone present the same endurance needed for construction purposes, but the bluestone of Western Voio is highly durable, due to its high concentration in quartz, one of the sturdiest minerals on Earth. The peculiarity of the area lies in that it was not in great depths but near the shore, where it was natural for more sediments to be deposited from the ancient land nearby, as well as the remains of living organisms. Their long compression from new material deposited on them led to the formation of today’s sedimentary strata. The intense presence of limestone in Ontria (also sedimentary area) resulted in their geological diversification from the rest of western Voio, the creation of harder strata and the formation of caves and catavothra.

This entire geological process resulted in the presence of rare fossils in many areas, the most characteristic being the zone Skalohori-Nostimo-Asprokklisia, where a Museum and a Park of the Fossilized Forest have been created, as this area was most probably just over the shore. Shells and fossils of marine organisms can be found scattered in many locations, such as Karaouli at Vythos.

The most impressive element of mount Voio is the number of its peaks, the characteristic grey color and the peculiar shape of its rocks, which is a result of its unique geological formations. The manner in which it was elevated led to the stratification of its minerals from southwest to the northeast, which is why the southwest slopes are particularly steep, while the northeast are milder. Thus, the mountain appears to be facing the south and the west, with its back to the north and east. The milder and more densely forested eastern slopes have facilitated settlement and the creation of today's villages. The large number of ferns that can be found in the area reveal the remains of a large ancient forest that used to cover the entire Voio.

The mountain’s rocks probably also owe their peculiarity to more recent geological phenomena. One of the glaciers that appeared in Europe several thousand years ago is likely to have reached Northern Pindos and have sculpted the mountain slopes leaving ridges and bulges that are still visible.

The cold medicinal springs of stream Kapsalia, at the location Mpania of Pentalofos, are also a significant phenomenon, with extremely beneficial qualities, as well as the geothermal field that appears in Neapoli.




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