Palaeogeographical evolution PDF Print E-mail

Late Oligocene-Early Miocene
A volcanic zone from Eastern Thrace to the North of Samos Island, going parallel to the present coastline of Minor Asia, is evident.
During this period in the NW part of Lesvos Island a Petrified Forest is buried in tuffites from the nearby volcano.

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Middle-Late Miocene
During this period, volcanism is still present along the same N-S trending zone as before, but has been extended through the Island of Kos.
At the boundary interval from the Serravallian to the Tortonian, about 10.6 Ma ago, the palaeogeographic configuration changed completely. Intra-Tortonian tectonics (between 8 and 9 Ma ago) resulted to the fragmentation of the existing landmass. Several brackish and fresh-water lakes were formed at that period.
About 5-6 Ma ago a major tectonic reorganization occurred in Messinian times. During this part of Late Miocene, the former Aegean mainland formed an archipelago, in which landbridges between Minor Asia and Greece made the arrival of a large number of Asiatic steppe immigrants and African elements to the present Greek mainland possible.

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Pliocene
From this period onwards the volcanic Aegean Arc has been developed.
During Pliocene/Pleistocene times, Lesvos Island was part of the continental Minor Asia. During that time, the mammals of Lesvos continued to spread over the island; new mammalian species started to invade. The transient volcanic activity in the island, the changes of the shape and size of Lesvos due to glacier alternations and tectonic movements, played a crucial role to the spreading of these mammals. The dispersal route of most of the mammals of Lesvos was a land corridor.

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Pleistocene
In general it can be said that the land-sea configuration of the Aegean Archipelago did not differ essentially in the Pleistocene from the present time. Sedimentological features indicate that the island of Lesvos was connected with the mainland during the Late Pleistocene period. Though the interpretation of the scanty faunal composition does not present endemic characters, a land connection of Lesvos island with the opposite landmass of Minor Asia during the Late Pleistocene, can not be excluded. Lesvos became an island again in the Holocene.

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