Saturday Geology Picture: Delphi, Greece

Delphi is one of the most impressive places I’ve ever seen. The landscape is just breathtaking – the archaeological site is situated on the southern flank of the Parnassus Mountains, dominating the entire valley. You can see the Gulf of Corinth right from the temples, and due to the steep slope you feel like Delphi is built on many floors with the stadium being the roof. The oracle might be related to faults under the temple; some authors speculate that gas vents (ethane?) caused hallucinations of the priest, which were interpreted as the oracle. Another nice thing is that you can see the archaeoseismological damage from strong historical earthquakes everywhere – cracks, rotated and tilted walls, corner break-outs, dropped keystones in arches and so on.

Close to the ruins right around the corner there is a parking lot at the motorway, which no geologist should miss – the Delphi fault in all its beauty!

The archaeological site of Delphi, Greece. Full of archaeoseismological damage!

The archaeological site of Delphi, Greece. Full of archaeoseismological damage!

Where is it?

Click on map to expand
Click to expand

Who was it?

Christoph Grützner
works at the Neotectonics and Natural Hazards Group, RWTH Aachen University, Germany. He likes the Mediterranean and uses geophysics to search for ancient earthquakes.