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Samos is not one of the typical Aegean “turtle-back–shaped core-complex type” islands like Ios or Mykonos, for example. The general structure of Samos is dominated by steep faults, and the overall architecture of the islands is best described as a horst. The topography of Samos is rugged and dominated by the sheer cliffs of 1433-m-high Mount Kerkis in the western part of the island (Fig.7).

The geology of Samos consists of a number of metamorphosed nappes, one non-metamorphosed nappe, and a Miocene graben. The island offers a look at an exceptionally complete nappe stack of the Central Hellenides, ranging from the high-pressure–metamorphosed Basal Unit (as part of the External Hel-lenides), all the way up to the ophiolitic Selçuk Nappe and the non-metamorphosed Cycladic Ophiolite Nappe. This field guide is concerned with the two structurally lowest units, the Basal Unit and the overlying Cycladic Blueschist Unit, as well as the Tertiary sediments.

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