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Proposed IGA Field Trip to Crete for 12 days, late September to early October 2018

September 29 - October 10

The geologist who wrote the book “Field Guide to the Geology of Crete”, Babis Fassoulas, has agreed to lead an IGA field trip to central and western Crete next autumn,. The purpose of the trip is to see the nappes thrown up by the colliding European and African plates, over a period of 245 million years, between 265 million years ago (Mya) and 20 Mya.  B. F. is the director of the Natural History Museum in Heraklion.

Nappes are defined as ” large masses of rock thrust a considerable distance, along a nearly horizontal fault plane, or in an overturned fold”. As the African plate is subducted beneath the European plate, submarine deposits in the subduction zone are too light to be subducted and end up being thrust up over the European plate. In Crete, we can see eight distinct nappe sequences, starting 265 Mya with the youngest sedimentary rocks in the subduction zone being dredged up and thrust onto the European plate. As the plates continued to collide, deeper, older and more metamorphic deposits in the subduction zone were thrust up as nappes, over the earlier nappes. As the plate collision continued, by 20 Mya, upper mantle and lower crustal rocks (ophiolites) were thrust up over all the previous sequences, forming the youngest of the Cretan sequence of nappes. Our trip will cover representative samples of this nappe set, in central and western Crete. Apart from the two travel days, we are planning seven field days and three days, either looking at archaeological sites, or a mix of site visits and free days, as you choose.
The proposed itinerary is:
– Sat. Sept. 29th: Depart Dublin in the evening, arriving late in Chania at 20:50 and bus on to Heraklion (2 hours away), where we stay for six nights.
– Sun.Sept. 30th: Visits to the palace at Knossos, with guide and the Nat. History Museum in Heraklion, followed by an introductory talk from our leader, on Cretan Geology and what we are going to see in the coming days.
– Mon. Oct.1st: Trip with B.F. to Psiloritis Mountain area in central Crete to see the oldest nappe (5 Km thick), which forms the back bone of Crete.
– Tue. Oct. 2nd: Trip with B.F. to Zaros Lake area and Phaistos, with guide.
– Wed. Oct. 3rd: Trip with B.F. to Lassithi Plateau
– Thurs. Oct. 4th: Free day in Heraklion for museum, beach, or shopping etc.
– Fri. Oct. 5th: Leave Heraklion with B.F. and head West and South to the Plakias area and stay in Chania for five nights.
– Sat. Oct. 6th: Trip with B.F. to Lakkoi, Tripali and Samaria (Gorge) areas.
– Sun. Oct 7th: Trip with B.F. to the West coast of Crete, from Falasarna in the North, to Elaphonisi Bay, in the south and say goodbye to B.F.
– Mon. Oct. 8th: Visits to archaeological sites in the Chania area, with guide.
– Tue. Oct. 9th: Boat trip to N.W. corner of Crete (with another group) to see raised beaches at Balos.
– Wed. Oct. 10th: Free day in Chania, before flying out at 21:40.
Flights are currently about €112 each way, which is €225.
All bus transport, boat trip, guide costs and half board hotel(3*,or 4*) costs for 11 nights, comes to €1400 P.P. sharing (single supplement is €350).
That makes a total of €1625 for people sharing and €1975 for single rooms (all based on having numbers of 14 to 20 people).
Not included are lunches, drinks, tips, entrance tickets to sites and museums.
People wishing to go should contact me asap on mobile (086) 2554945, or by email frank@clissmann.com and tell me if you are willing to share, or if you want a single room.
I look forward to hearing from you.


September 29
October 10
Event Category:


Heraklion, Crete