Val Gardena

Geology

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Geology

Déodat de Dolomieu and the pale mountains.
As mountains, the Dolomites are unique, but the mineral dolomite - named after the French mineralogist Déodat de Dolomieu, who researched the field 200 years ago - is to be found in several parts of the world, although rarely in such awe-inspiring shape as in the Ladin region.
More than 200 million years ago the Earth's volcanoes were spewing forth vast lava flows which gradually hardened as reddish porphyry. After a few more millions of years the continent started to sink until it lay below the level of the original sea, which we call Tethys. Alluvial sands, clays and gypsum settled, and the calcium from the myriads of shells and skeletons of tiny creatures built up over millions of years - layer upon layer - to form veritable mountains of limestone, which were overlaid with strata of marl and colourful silica.
Millions of years later movements in the Earth's crust caused displacement of the rock masses, folding and huge faults that were to become the Alps. Finally, in the Quaternary the glaciers carved new shapes. But it still required the erosion processes of several million years to give the Dolomites the appearance we know today.

At Val Gardena, there is tourist accommodation available in hotels, farm holiday, farmhouse, residence self-catering accommodation, mountain chalets, b&b, rooms for rent, holiday homes, camp sites and tourist villages.