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Dolomites > The formation of the Dolomites > Genesis of a landscape - Continuation

Dolomites - The genesis of a landscape - Continuation

A time-lapse by Michael Wachtler

Giant ammonites from the past170 million years ago: the domain of the giant Ammonites
The tropical platform sank again by several hundred metres. Red limestone, full of ammonites, belemnites and striking nodules of brown and black iron and manganese, has been preserved to the present day. These are typical formations of a deep sea bed.

65 million years ago: The next great extinction
But despite this the ammonites became extinct. And with them, the dinosaurs. Was it the stress of continuous development that caused them to surrender or did the powerful impact of a meteorite bring their life to an end?

30 million years ago: the sea for the last time
The African continent slowly began to shift northward, closer to Europe. Great masses of rock were pushed one on top of the other and, we might say, folded. The building of the Alps had begun. On Col Bechei in the Val di Fanes, at 2500 metres, are the last remains of the old sea that dominated the Dolomite area for more than 200 million years; but now it was time for the land to resume its triumphal march.

20 million years ago: A unique landscape in the world began to form A giant clam in heart form
The first rivers fought their way through, forming their beds and then the first valleys. Sinuous rounded peaks thus appeared. The old sedimentations, transformed into rocks and compressed, folded and pushed one on top of the other by mighty forces, again saw the light. Rocks that resisted the atmospheric agents, like the old barriers and carbonate platforms, reached towards the sky in the form of steep peaks. The volcanic debris, marl and sandstone of the sea basins were transformed into rolling hills. Flower-decked meadows alternate with steep masses of rock.


Foto: Michael Wachtler

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