De Vuurberg
Gavdos Island  A. van Roekel
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  View from Ambelos,
 facing Crete  A. van Roekel

The island of Gavdos, 26 nautical miles south of Crete at 35N/24E, is the southernmost extension of the South Aegean Island Arc. The northern part of the island has its roots in the middle Miocene (from 16-12 million years ago); the limestone series in the southern part are much older, dating from the late Cretaceous (from 100-65 million years ago). The world during the late Cretaceous looked very different form today. It's hard to imagine that the Mediterranean as we know it today did not exist at all. Instead, Africa and Eurasia were divided by the Tethys Ocean.

  Cape Tripiti, 
southernmost point on Gavdos and in the Mediterranean Sea  A. van Roekel

Taking a huge step, Gavdos belonged to a big landmass in early Miocene (25 million years ago). Lots of fossil corals have been found on Gavdos dating from the late Miocene, the Tortonian stage (12-7 mya), which was followed by the Messinian stage (7-5,5 mya), well-known as huge parts of the Mediterranean fell dry and thick layers of evaporites covered the sea floor. 3 million years ago, during the Pliocene, Gavdos disappeared in the ocean while Crete was made up of a handful small islets. One million years ago, during the Pleistocene, eustatic sea levels alternated strongly. Sea levels dropped when glaciers developed during the Ice Ages and Crete became united.

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Annemieke van Roekel. Niets van deze website mag worden vermenigvuldigd of openbaar gemaakt door middel van druk, microfilm, fotokopie, plaatsing van teksten en/of afbeeldingen op andere websites of op welke wijze dan ook zonder voorafgaande schriftelijke toestemming van de auteur en de betreffende tijdschriftredacties.
Laatste wijziging: 10 september 2013
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