The intense and unregulated mining activity in Greece during the 20th century resulted in a great number of deserted quarries. Almostnoneofthemhasbeenrestored.
Surface mining brings vast and often irreversible alterations to the natural landscape, as well as a plethora of environmental consequences. However, this activity creates sites of great geological and landscape interest, as the prolonged excavation and “destruction” of the preexisting site has revealed elements and layers of the soil not visible before. Just as important is the revelation of parts of human history and civilization that comes along with these novel landscapes.
The environmental balance of these sites has been violently altered, since the pace of human intervention (through the mining process) was too fast for nature to adapt. After the mining activities had seized and with the human factor removed, nature reestablished the equilibrium and transformed the landscapes that had been created. Water was a critical factor in this process, bringing along a new landscape category, with distinct morphological and cultural elements, that of the “quarry landscape with water”.
In this paper, implementing a theoretical approach and the established directive concerning landscapes, we attempt to locate and catalog the unutilized quarry landscapes with water in Greece. Our goal is to emphasize the importance of the water element in the transformation of these landscapes, as well as in the creation of the conditions required to reclaim the relation between human and these abandoned landscapes. To achieve a more complete perspective, we also study the possibilities of reutilizing these sites, by inspecting examples that have been proposed and published internationally.