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Geology of Meteora | The Phenomenon of Non Vertical Layering

Updated: Apr 29


George Papadellis | SG Head

The Meteora unusual enormous (up to 313 m.) columns of rock is not an easy-to-explain geological phenomenon. These types of formations, in other areas, are usually volcanic of hard igneous rock. But the Meteora Greece is not. They are a composition of a mixture of sandstone and conglomerate.

Meteora Greece  |  Shiny Greece

Photo by: iStock.com | JordeAngjelovik

How was Meteora formed?

Hundreds of millions of years ago there was a delta at the edge of a lake, into which there was a constant flow of stone,

sand and mud from streams. Over millions of years this flow formed the conglomerate. Then, around 60 million years ago, during the Paleogene period, earthquakes and earth movement pushed the seabed upward, creating a high plateau and causing vertical faults. Then came the weather phenomena. The water, the severe change of temperatures and the wind "worked" for millions of years, widening the faults and forming the rocks.

Meteora in Greece  |  Shiny Greece

Photo by: Mzmona, Meteora Greece, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Unique Geology of Meteora

Rock formations with weathering processes have been created in several areas throughout the world. The unique thing with Meteora Greece is the uniformity of the sedimentary rock constituents deposited over millions of years without vertical layering.


Although extremely rare, rockfalls (usually after earthquakes) constitute an existing threat for the pilgrims and for tourists. The fierce earthquake of 1954 shook the rocks and the rockfall of 2005 blocked access to the Meteora in Greece top for many days.

Go to Meteora Page


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