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Comune di Duino Aurisina

Friuli Venezia Giulia - Parchi e riserve naturali

Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia

FVG Live

GEOMORPHOLOGY AND LIMESTONE

The limestone of the Duino Cliffs formed in the Cretaceaous (approximately 100 million years ago), when shells of planktonic animals deposited on the sea bottom, which then petrified. Approximately 30 million years ago earth thrusts and movements caused the sea bottom to rise and emerge. Petrified layers rose inclined or vertically, as happened along the Trieste coastline. Vertical rock layers along the underlying coast, some of them in the form of single towers, can be observed walking along the Rilke path in the Duino Cliffs.

When exposed to air and rain, limestone undergoes dissolution and, according to its composition, either dissolves or fragments. Between vertical layers and smooth walls there are screes composed of material of various sizes deriving from the fragmentation of the rocks above.

Along the path rock fields can be observed, flat areas covered in pieces of fragmented rock. These rock fields are set along compact rocks which do not break but are slowly dissolved by water, transforming insoluble (limestone) into soluble calcium carbonate. Rain combined with carbon dioxide corrodes limestone. Where water flows quickly on the surface of limestone rocks, it forms grooves. Where rocks are flatter and water stays longer, corrosion pools form. In some parts water manages to perforate the rock, forming holes. The effects of rain on limestone (grooves, corrosion ponds, holes) are called superficial karst phenomena and can be observed closely along the whole Rilke path.

 
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