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Sphakia A Physical Geography. Crete sits on a plate boundary where the African Plate is being subducted under the European Plate Crete: Tectonic Setting.

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Presentation on theme: "Sphakia A Physical Geography. Crete sits on a plate boundary where the African Plate is being subducted under the European Plate Crete: Tectonic Setting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sphakia A Physical Geography

2 Crete sits on a plate boundary where the African Plate is being subducted under the European Plate Crete: Tectonic Setting

3 Geological History Initial uplift during the Alpine Orogeny starting in the Late Cretaceous 70 mya(east) ending in Miocene 10 Mya (West) Stratigraphy is a series of Nappes caused by failure of uplifted masses due to East West Progression of uplift Pliocene submergence followed by uplift in the early Pleistocene and Block faulting

4 Principal Rock Types Quartzite - metamorphic Carboniferous Platy Limestones Carboniferous to Eocene Crystalline Limestones Mesozoic Neogene Fills Late Tertiary Quaternary deposits

5 Earthquakes and Subsidence Jolting Subsidence ka (at least 11 stillstands) Byzantine Tectonic Paroxysm - Very rapid uplift of up to 10 m 1530+/-40 BP Associated with at least 11 historical reports of earthquakes between 344 and 553 AD Small quakes still common…last in 1994

6 Climate Dry season May- November Wet Season November-April

7 Rainfall

8

9 White mountains snow and desert

10 Climate History/Climate Change Pleistocene glaciation in highest areas, Wetter conditions assumed to drive erosion - Older Fill Arid conditions circa 16 ka gave way to moister Holocene conditions (based on pollen evidence) By 5 ka BP more arid conditions return (loss of tilia) Predicted Global Warming Impacts + 4 C % precipitation

11 Vegetation High degree of Endemism (180 species) Sphakia, the most wooded part of Crete (Cypress and Pine)

12 Maquis and Phyrgana Controlled largely by Moisture

13 Re-vegetation Comparisons with early Photography (Rackham) suggests this is associated with de-intensification of agriculture since 1850, particularly reduced stocking

14 Cultivation Cultivation of Olives dates at least from Late Neolithic Continues today in irrigated groves Grain and Fruit

15 Earth Surface Processes and Landforms in Crete

16 Pleistocene Fans Dating from up to 300 ka Possible association with Glaciation

17 Mountain Basins

18 Gorges

19 Formed in crystalline Limestone or Phyllite-Quartzite Support distinct vegetation (shade/moisture/very limited soils)

20

21 Importance of Rare events I Dec 5th 2000

22 Importance of Rare events II Maas, Macklin and Kirkby Small basin draining into Omalos Identify six main channel deposits Oldest BP Last two 1968 and 1989

23 Hillslope Processes

24 Coastal Plain


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