3. Xi

Xi is located in the southern part of Paliki peninsula. Xi beach got its name from the shape of the bay which if we look at it from above looks like the Greek letter (Ξι) (Figure 1). The sandy beach has a deep tile color, completely different from the color of the sand of all the other beaches of the island.

Panoramic view of the beach of Xi from above
Figure 1 Panoramic view of the beach of Xi from above

Geodiversity

The lithological formations of the beach of Xi comprise mainly of U. Pliocene-L. Pleistocene (3.5-0.781 My) blue clayσ. The granulometric analysis of these sediments showed that they consist of 1-2% sand, 29-54% silt, and 44-70% clay.These are lithological formations about 300m thick which were formed in a relatively deep marine environment (Figure 2) whose evolution is associated with intense tectonic events during the Pleistocene. Evidence for the deposition depth of these sediments consists of the numerous microfossils, planktonic foraminifera, ostracods, coccolithores and pelagic fish otoliths that have been found in these sediments. In these clay sediments of the beach of Xi we observe erosive structures created by seawater, air, as well as by atmospheric precipitations (rain) (Figure 3).

Schematic sketch of the formation of the clay sedimentsof the beach of Xi which were formed deposited in a marine environment
Figure 2 Schematic sketch of the formation of the clay sediments of the beach of Xi which were deposited in a marine environment
Xi bay, close view of beach where swimmers try mud therapy
Figure 3 Xi bay, close view of beach where swimmers try mud therapy

The red color of the beach results from the disintegration of clay minerals and the release of iron (which also gives the red color), from these blue clay sediments, in combination with the erosion and transport of the clay fraction. Due to the clay composition of these blue sediments and their content of specific clay minerals, which seem to have beneficial properties, this beach presents particular interest for "mud therapy"Mixing the gray clay from the rocks with water creates a natural clay mask, turning the cohesive clays into the mud, which can be applied directly to the skin, locally in small areas or spread various parts of the body.