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Nisyros is one of the strangest and most beautiful of all Greek islands – an unusual mixture of lush vegetation and dramatic barren moonscapes.
Nisyros (Greek: Νίσυρος; also transliterated Nissiros) is a volcanic Greek island and municipality located in the Aegean Sea. It is part of the archipelago Dodecanese (which literally translates as 12 islands), situated between the islands of Kos and Tilos. Its shape is somewhat round, with a diameter of about 8 km (5 mi), and an area of 41.6 km² (16.062 sq mi). The height of the island is 698 m (2.290 feet) above sea level. The island´s capital is Mandraki. Population of Nisyros is about 1.500.
History and geologic informations:
The island of Nisyros is a stratovolcano at the eastern end of the Hellenic island arc. This arc of volcanoes is connected with the northward subduction of the African plate beneath the Aegean microplate. Santorini, a better known volcano, is west of Nisyros.
The island of Nisyros originally culminated in a mountain of 850 m, but the centre collapsed 25.000 years ago after three violent eruptions. Their legacy is the white and orange pumice stones which can still be seen on the northern, eastern and southern flanks of the island, and the large lava flow which covers the whole south-west of the island.
The base of the island is made of hyaloclastite, lava flows, and breccias, mostly of andesite composition. These rocks are capped by pyroclastic deposits and volcanic domes of dacite composition. The pyroclastic deposits are a result of two explosive phases of the volcano. Each phase was Plinian in character, producing tall columns of ash as high as 9-12 miles (15-20 km) above the volcano. The collapse of the tall columns of ash made the pyroclastic deposits. The volume of magma erupted was great enough to cause the summit of the volcano to collapse, making a caldera. After the caldera formed, eruptions produced the lava domes.
A great depression, Rammos and Lakki (shown in the photo), is located just east of the center of the island. The west rim of this depression is formed by St. Elias, the highest point on the island. St. John mountain is on the east side of the depression. The depression is steep sided and its bottom is about 300 feet (100 m) above sea level.
Crater Stefanos is one of five small explosion sinks along the south part of the depression. Stefanos is about 1,000 feet in diameter (300 m) and 80 feet (25 m) deep. A path descends into Stefanos where you can examine multicoloured fumaroles, listen to their hissing and smell their sulphurous vapours. The surface is soft and hot, making sturdy footwear essential.
It is suspected that the volcano erupted in 1422. In 1871, an eruption was accompanied by earthquakes, explosions, and red and yellow flames. Ash and lapilli spewed out and covered the floor of Rammos, destroying the fruit gardens there. During a three-day-long eruption in 1873, a 20-25 foot (6-7 m) diameter crater formed and ash and blackish mud was ejected. The bottom of Lakki and Ramos was transformed into a lake by hot saline water that overflowed the crater. The most recent eruption was in 1888. This strong eruption threw out a cylindrical pipe of volcanic material at least 80 feet (25 m) in diameter. Mud, lapilli, and steam were also ejected. In 1956, fumaroles were observed along the west and south sides of Rammos – the volcano is currently active but not erupting. A period of seismic unrest in 1996-1997 led an international team of scientist to initiate monitoring of the volcanic unrest in the European Union.
Getting There and Away:
Nisyros has the same ferry schedule as Tilos. The island is serviced by a weekly hydrofoil from Rhodes. In summer there are daily excursion boats from Kardamena, Kefalos and Kos Town on Kos island.
There are at least two buses every day to the volcano, you can also rent a motorcycle in Mandraki or go by taxi from the same place.
We hope you enjoy visiting the active volcano Nisyros, one of the most spectacular natural wonders of all the Dodecanese.
IN ORDER TO CLAIM THIS EARTHCACHE, YOU MUST EMAIL US ANSWERS ON THREE QUESTIONS:
1) What year is the year of the most recent eruption of the volcano ?
2) Write us the names of two crater-top villages.
3) What colour is the rock surrounding the fumaroles.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO WAIT FOR A REPLY FROM US, YOU CAN LOG THE EARTHCACHE AS "FOUND IT" RIGHT AWAY. ANY LOGS WITHOUT REQUIRED ANSWERS WILL BE DELETED. IN CASE OF MISTAKE WE WILL CONTACT YOU. HAPPY CACHING!
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum