Antissa Fault

The Antissa Fault runs through the volcanic rock of the Skamiouda hill. The fault plane creates a steep bluff. It is one of the most distinctive faults on Lesvos and serves as a reminder of the enormous geological changes which have shaped the Lesvian landscape of today.

The fault was created by mounting pressure in the earth’s crust which at some point exceeded the strength of the rocks and broke them apart. The rocks on either side of the fault shifted, with one side shifting downwards.

The fault plane, meaning the rock surface where the fracture occurred, creates a sharp step in the landscape. Its surface is marked by visible friction lines called slickenlines which indicate the direction of the fault movement, evidence of the seismic activity in the region. These slickenlines were caused by the friction of rocks (quartz grains, pebbles etc) being dragged across the fault surfaces when the two sides slid past each other in opposing directions. Along the fault, one can see a zone of crushed and fragmented rocks which were a result of the grinding between the two fault blocks.

The Antissa Fault is part of the deformed structures which are linked to the great Anatolian Fault and the intense seismic activity in the North Aegean.