Monti Sibillini National Park
Lago di Pilato, a natural high-elevation lake, sits at 1, meters elevation in the trough of a glacially carved valley between Monte Vettore and another peak, Cima del Redentore. The Italian naming convention for many of these limestones is straightforward. The eastern portion of the Apennine chain, where this compressional activity is still occurring, is called the outer compressional belt, a naming convention likely due to the fact that Italian geology tends to be viewed from the perspective of Rome which lies west of the mountains. Bus routes also serve these towns and reach Fermo as well.
Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini
Credit: Alan Pitts. In northwestern Italy, the mountains are linked to the Maritime Alps; from there, they wind sinuously southward in the form of several arcuate chains all the way to the southern terminus of the Italian Peninsula, where they disappear under the Gulf of Taranto before Glacier National Park To Great Falls Mt on Sicily as part of the Calabrian Arc.
In the central Apennines, roughly three hours from Rome by car, Monti Sibillini National Park straddles the border between the regions of Umbria to the west and Marche to the east. It is a place where human history is closely tied to the terrain: a relationship that has produced terrific rewards of agriculture and art, as well as great catastrophes from earthquakes and landslides.
Credit: both: K. Cantner, AGI, after Vezzani et al. The Sibillini Mountains, with their high pristine peaks and occasionally intense shaking, have for centuries evoked a sense of enchantment, both benevolent and sinister, in the minds of locals and visitors alike. The rugged terrain was named after Monti Sibillini National Park legendary medieval oracle, a sibyl, who, like the prophets of classical Greece, had the power to see the future and the past. Stories tell of a particular oracle who lived in this part of the Apennines, surrounded Monti Sibillini National Park treasures, in an underground paradise that could be accessed only through a high cave entrance at the top of Monte Sibilla, one of the highest peaks in the range.
Glacier National Park To Great Falls Mt the legend goes, quite a few European explorers ventured in search of the cave, and many never returned. In the Early Jurassic, warm and shallow Tethys waters along a passive continental margin in the vicinity of modern Italy created conditions ripe for the deposition of ample calcareous sediments, which piled up into a thick carbonate platform — an environment closely resembling the present-day Bahamas.
A geological cross section through the central Apennines in the vicinity of Monte Vettore and the Piano Grande. Credit: K. Cantner, AGI, after Pierantoni et al. The Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, about 40 kilometers west of Monti Sibillini National Park, has a distinctive pink color because it was built from the Scaglia Rossa limestone. Credit: Callan Bentley. A closeup of the Scaglia Rossa limestone the Basilica of St.
Francis in Assisi was built from. The Italian naming convention for many of these limestones is straightforward. For instance, the Basilica of St.
Francis in Assisi has a distinctive pink color because it was built from the Scaglia Rossa. Within the Scaglia Rossa is the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary dating to 66 million years ago. The sudden drop in the diversity, size and ornamentation of foraminifera at the boundary tells of a cataclysmic global event that happened at the time: the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.
At Bottaccione Gorge near Gubbio, about 60 kilometers northwest of the national park, Glacier National Park To Great Falls Mt famous outcrop where scientists identified an iridium anomaly in the rock — which was later linked to the massive Chicxulub impact implicated in the mass extinction — remains a pilgrimage site for geologists.
A Tale of Two Tectonics Ascending a switchback into the Fiastrone River Valley, a meter-tall outcrop of contorted rock displays striking zigzags, called chevron folds, in the thin layers of the Scaglia Rossa. The folds resulted from compression during the Miocene, which shoved the limestone layers over other rocks. Amid the Lame Rosse, hoodoos rise from eroded Holocene sandstones and conglomerates.
Credit: Isabella Vitali, public domain. Beginning roughly 35 million years ago in the…
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Every time a fresh earthquake creates offset along these faults, it increases the local relief. Though the water may seem inviting after a long hike up the mountain, swimming is strictly prohibited, as Lago di Pilato hosts a rare species of freshwater crustacean that is found only in this tiny mountain lake. Like a big fritter these creations can be filled with different things from cocoa and pecorino cheese to sugar and ricotta.