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The tsunamis of Olympia

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Author Topic: The tsunamis of Olympia  (Read 460 times)
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« on: February 05, 2012, 07:19:42 pm »

The results suggest that the region was hit several times by major catastrophic floods and was covered by sediments in the past.  Mussel and snail shells and the remains of foraminifera (marine protozoa) clearly indicate a marine origin. The sediments must have arrived at speed from the coast towards Olympia which has an altitude of about 33 metres above sea level.

“Olympia is now 22 km from the sea, but previously the coast was at least 8 km, further inland,” explains Vött. In his scenario: tsunamis from the sea built up then ran into the narrow valley of Alpheus – which also includes the River Kladeos – with great force, and then rushed over the saddles in the range of hills that lie behind Olympia. The sanctuary then becomes flooded and the water flows slowly out, as the Alpheus valley is blocked by the incoming tsunami and its sediments. This suggests that in the context of deposited sediment sequences in the area, such a scenario has been repeated several times during the last 7,000 years; with one of the most recent events occurring  in the 6th Century AD. which carried with it the final destruction of Olympia.
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