Faulting in Crete

August 14, 2006


Provided by: Walter Handy
Summary authors & editors: Walter Handy

The photo above shows faulting in Miocene to Pleistocene aged clay-stones and marls in a road cut approximately 5 kilometers south of Iraklion, Crete, Greece. The view is looking east with south to the right -- the close up was taken at the southern end of the road cut.

Crete is an emergent part of the leading edge of the Aegean Plate and is being pushed up in fault slices as the plate rides over the African Plate to the south. The fault planes dip to the south, and displacements are on the order of one to several meters, creating these interesting diamond shaped patterns. The fault type appears to be normal, but lateral motion with a possible thrust components could also produce these patterns.

During the Miocene to Recent ages, Crete was a series of four limestone massifs surrounded by emergent to shallow water, clastic sediment deposition. The environment of deposition of the sediments in the picture is considered to be shallow marine. Note the angular unconformity at the top of the section.

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