Geography of Dolomites Unesco Area
The 26 June 2009, The Dolomites are included in the list as a serial property, as they represent a unified whole, albeit dislocated and complex, both in terms of the geography and landscape and from geological-geomorphological point of view.The various Dolomitic ranges represent a combination of exceptional geological features and landscapes, characterised by extraordinary representativeness and high levels of protection, and are linked through an extensive genetic and aesthetic network of relation. The pre-existence of clear protective measures was one of the requirements established by UNESCO for inclusion in the list.
The nine mountain system making up this extraordinary “fossil archipelago” are thus contained within five provinces: Belluno(41%, Trento15%, Bolzano 31%, Pordenone 11% e Udine 3%, an area of approximattely 142.000 hectares, in which four different and officially recognised languages are spoken (Italian, German, Ladin, and Friulan). The five provinces are characterised by a complex and varied institutional and administrative framework, because thei background within the context of European history has been very different:
THE RANGES THAT FORM THE DOLOMITES UNESCO SITE
1 – Pelmo-Croda da Lago* ha 4343,570
2 – Marmolada* ha 2207,530
3 – Pale di San Martino – San Lucano – Dolomiti Bellunesi* ha 31665,700
4 – Dolomiti Friulane e d'Oltre Piave* ha 21460,630
5 – Dolomiti Settentrionali* ha 53585,968
6 – Puez Odle ha 7930,337
7 – Sciliar, Catinaccio, Latemar ha 9302,098
8 – Rio delle Foglie/ Bletterbach ha 271,600
9 – Dolomiti di Brenta ha 11135,442
*The ranges or part of them in our province Belluno.
The meaning to live in the Dolomiti-Unesco Area :
To live here, in Zoldo Valley, in the Dolomiti-Unesco Area, is for us a privilege
but a responsabilty too: the people who live in a Unesco Word Heritage Site are its natural keepers. We have to understand, (with the new generation!) that there is a precious opportunity: the possibility of combining environmental protection and promotion, through a programme of sustainable developpement which also
involves responsible tourism. This is a journey we want to do with you dear
Geological– details of Dolomites Unesco Area :
The special link with geology and the significance of this aspect is highlighted by the very name of these mountains, deriving from the dolomite mineral which was discovered here by the French scientist Deodat de Dolomieu (1750 – 1801). From the dawn of geological research, the Dolomites have represented a point of reference at global level thanks to the extraordinary accessibility of these mountains and the clarity with which the geological phenomena can be observed. Some of the founding principles of Earth Science were deduced here.
The geological histoy of the Dolomites can be traced back at least 280 million years,
to the era of a great oceanic gulf called the Tethys, existing in a tropical environment between Europe and Africa, at that time united in the Pangea
supercontinent.On the edges of this gulf an ancient mountain range, now flattened, began to sink durig the Permian, making the depositing of large amounts of sediment possible. Subsidence was accompanied by intense volcanic activity that led to the deposition of porphyry, which forms the local substrate on which the other sedimentary deposits lie. The slow sinking process gradually allowed the sea to invade the entire Dolomite area, which became a warm shallow expanse of water. Starting from around 240 million years ago, in order to survive the rapid subsidence of the seabed, a large number of organisms requiring light in order to survive began to build reefs to contrast the progressive lowering of the sea bed. Thus an archipelago of islands was formed, where these organisms were able to proliferate, creating atolls and lagoons. Another important event characterised this period and contributed to the special nature of the Dolomites: volcanism, lava, tuff and volcanic products rapidly filled and sometimes buried the reefs, often fossilising them and at times profoundly changing the geography of the Dolomites After this phase of upheaval, the reef-building organisms could resume their work and a new generation of coral reefs went on to be formed. During the Early Norian (around 228 million years ago) a new phase of widespread subsidence of the Dolomite region again allowed the sea to invade the coastal plain and a series of deep layers of carbonate deposit was thus formed. This muddy plain, governed by action of the tides, was inhabited by the first dinosaurs, as shown by the footprints found in the Dolomitic rock. In the Upper Jurassic and throughout the Cretaceous (between approximately 170 and 65 millions years ago), the Dolomite area experienced a hight livel of pelagic sedimentation, as demonstrated by the significant succession of limestone and mearl now to be found. The processes leading to these sediments emerging and becoming a mountain rage were instead active from the end of the Cretaceous up to a few million years ago due to the clash between Africa and Europe and the resulting deformation of the ancient Tethys sediment. In this scenario the Dolomites once again have a special place: tectonic deformation, which was very intense elsewhere, was milder here and the original relationships between the sedimentary units have been preserved.
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