Rassios, A., Smith, A. and Kostopoulos, D. 2009.   Ophiolites 2008 Guidebook: Link between the Mesohellenic Ophiolites and the Pelagonian Margin. In: (Eds.) Anne Rassios, Alan G Smith, and Dimitrios Kostopoulos, Ophiolites 2008 Guidebook: Link between the Mesohellenic Ophiolites and the Pelagonian Margin, Journal of the Virtual Explorer, Electronic Edition, ISSN 1441-8142, volume 34, paper 1, doi:10.3809/jvirtex.2009.00213

Ophiolites 2008 Guidebook: Link between the Mesohellenic Ophiolites and the Pelagonian Margin

Anne Rassios

Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration, Lefkovrisi, Kozani 50100 GREECE; <rassannie@gmail.com>

Alan Smith

Department of Earth Sciences, Sedgwick Museum, Downing Street. Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK; <ags1@esc.cam.ac.uk>

Dimitrios Kostopoulos

University of Athens, School of Science, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment Panepistimioupoli, Zographou Athens 157 84 Greece; <dikostop@geol.uoa.gr>


The geology of Greece is complex. The interpretation of key ophiolitic localities of Greece has, in classic studies, aided formulation of primary models of plate tectonic theory. One of these localities, exposed along the Aliakmon River below Zavordas Monastery, was described by Jan Brunn (1908 – 2006) as the best exposure of the base of an ophiolite in the world. Zimmerman (1968) and Moores (1969) used the Aliakmon exposures to document the initial description of the structural nature and zoned metamorphism of an ophiolitic sole. Unfortunately, much of this historic section will be inundated with the construction of a hydroelectric dam. A final study to document this river section has produced new data concerning the nature of this complex suture: in short, the Aliakmon valley records the rifting of Pelagonia, early formation of the Tethys, and the destruction of the Tethys with the emplacement of the Vourinos ophiolite.

To further understand the nature of the sole zone, research extended into its “footwall unit,” the west Pelagonian margin. Virtually unstudied, this Paleozoic-Jurassic margin preserves a continuous section from the Pelagonian core complex gneiss-migmatites, through schistose metamorphics, and into slatey phyllites. Age dating and structural analyses are on-going, their results deciphering exhumation processes of the Pelagonian margin and in delineating the extent an “ophiolitic footprint” beneath the sole zone.

Other classic localities of the Pindos, Koziakas, and Vourinos ophiolites enable discrimination of structure within an obducting ophiolitic nappe: mantle layering and foliation, lower temperature ductile structures, ductile-brittle and brittle emplacement related deformation are demonstrated among our stops, as well as imprint of later Tertiary Alpine deformation. The entire lithospheric section is traversed by stops crossing the Vourinos ophiolite. In the Pindos section, emphasis on emplacement kinematics and ductile structures of the sole and mantle series demonstrate strong evidence of NE-topping directions that favor original Jurassic emplacement models over the Avdella mélange.

Keywords: ophiolites, Greece, metamorphism, Pelagonia

Table of Contents

Paper Review
Symposium Goals
Framework Geology for the Symposium Fieldtrip
Stop 1: Koziakas Ophiolite - Steinmann Trinity
Stop 2: Koziakas Ophiolite - Fault Viewpoint
Stop 3: Koziakas Ophiolite - Sulphide Ores
Stop 4: Koziakas Ophiolite - Antilaximo Imbrication
Stop 5: Koziakas Ophiolite - Kaloneri Peridotite
Stop 6: Koziakas Ophiolite - Vitouma Convent
Stop 7: Pindos Ophiolite - Megalo Kerasea Ophicalcites
Stop 1: Pelagonian Margin - Fotino Ancient Rocks
Stop 2: Pelagonian Margin - Extensional Schist
Stop 3: Pelagonian Margin - Pebbly Mudstone
Stop 4: Pelagonian Margin - Vounassa Deformation
Stop 5: Pelagonian Margin - Vounassa Mountain
Stop 6: Pelagonian Margin - Triassic Red Carbonates
Stop 7: Pelagonian Margin - Triassic Metasediments
Stop 1: Vourinos Ophiolite - Doumaraki Peridotite
Stop 2: Vourinos Ophiolite - Aetoraches Mine
Stop 3: Vourinos Ophiolite - Petrologic Moho
Stop 4: Vourinos Ophiolite – Laterites
Stop 5: Vourinos Ophiolite - Pilori Roadcut
Stop 6: Vourinos Ophiolite - Sheeted Dikes
Stop 7: Vourinos Ophiolite - Oceanic Sediments
Stop 1: Vourinos Ophiolite - Xerolivado Mine
Stop 2: Vourinos Ophiolite - Sole Roadcut
Stop 3: Vourinos Ophiolite - Aliakmon Section
Stop 1. Pindos Ophiolite - Mesohellenic Boundary
Stop 2. Pindos Ophiolite - Avdella Melange
Stop 3. Pindos Ophiolite - Liagouna Sole
Stop 4. Pindos Ophiolite - Valia Kalda
Stop 5. Pindos Ophiolite - Mt Dramala
Stop 1. Vourinos Ophiolite - Asprokambos Magma Chamber
Stop 2. Vourinos Ophiolite - Lithospheric Panorama
Stop 3. Vourinos Ophiolite - Paleokastro Road
Stop 4. Vourinos Ophiolite - Mesiano Nero
Stop 5. Vourinos Ophiolite - Siatista Trekkers Shelter
Back cover