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Geology of Meteora | The Amazing Phenomenon of Non Vertical Layering

Updated: Feb 27


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. The geology of Meteora is a composition of a mixture of sandstone and conglomerate.

Meteora Greece

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.

Rocks around Agia Moni

Rocks around Agia Moni | Photo by: Falk2, J26 588 Ágia Moní, CC BY-SA 4.0

This phenomenon created a high plateau and caused 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

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.


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Apr 12
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According to historical data, the Meteora rocks were formed about 60 million years ago, during the Paleogene Period.


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