A lagoon at 2300 metres above the sea
Regione del Campolungo
|(CH 1903)||E 698930||N 147590||H 2140.0|
|(WGS 84)||Long. 8.727||Lat. 46.472|
Structural geology, Mineralogy / petrology
Stratigraphie, Paleontology, Karst morphology
Naturalistic, Landscape, Hiking
Dolomite was deposited as sediment in the marine-lagoon environment. The layer of dolomite was enclosed to the south by gneiss from very ancient times, and to the north by Jurassic calcshists (rocks composed of lime and schist). This particular arrangement of rock units is related to the phenomena of the formation of the Alps. During orogenesis, the dolomites underwent major tectonic folds, among which the most spectacular example is that of the large lying fold which surfaces between the Alps and the Campolungo Pass. Also during this phase – 35 to 30 million years ago – high temperatures and stong pressures metamorphosed the original sediment. The white dolomite was transformed into a coarse-grained dolomite marble which partially crumbles like sugar, giving it the term “saccharoidal dolomite”. The metamorphic processes simultaneously led to the formation of some well-crystallized new minerals, and so far 24 types of minerals have been examined in the dolomites. For this reason, the Campolungo Region is known worldwide.
Follow the A2 motorway in the direction of Gotthard to the Varenzo exit (number 42). Then proceed for two kilometres towards Rodi-Fiesso. The departure station of the Rodi-Fiesso to Tremorgio cableway is above the AET power plant, where there is ample free parking.
From Lake Tremorgio, reached by cableway from Rodi, you reach the Campolungo Alps in about an hour, going in the direction of the Campolungo Pass. The site can also be reached by going up from Dalpe or Fusio.
COTTI G. et al. (1990): Introduzione al paesaggio naturale del Cantone Ticino.Vol. 1, Le componenti naturali, Bellinzona, 484 pp.
DECUYPER H. & ANTOGNINI M. (2008): Magie di pietra, Paesaggi geologici del Ticino, Armando Dadò Editore, Locarno, 159 pp.