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Carboniferous Deposits of Manno

The oldest sedimentary rocks of Ticino

Svizzera, Cantone Ticino, MANNO

Positioning

Boschetti

COORDINATES
(CH 1903) E   714225 N   99445 H   405.0
(WGS 84) Long.   8.914 Lat.   46.037
GENERAL EVALUATION
DIFFICULTY T-T1
SCIENTIFIC INTEREST PRIMARY:
Stratigraphie, Sedimentology, Paleontology

SECONDARY:
Geo-mining
OTHER INTERESTS Didactic
GEOSITE   GEOLOGICAL - stratigraphy

DESCRIPTION

The sedimentary rocks of the Carboniferous deposits of Manno, dating back 310 million years, are the oldest in the Insubria region. In Boschetti, three small outcrops have been emphasized by means of an educational trail with four stations which highlight the geological, paleontological and geomining importance of the site. The rocks which make up the outcrops are conglomerates and sandstones of the Carboniferous period, which were originally composed of gravel and sand carried by ancient rivers and consolidated over time. These rocks preserve the remains of ancient plants of the lush forest which once covered the area.

INSIGHT

The quartz conglomerates of Manno are of considerable scientific interest as they constitute the oldest sedimentary rocks of Ticino. The discovery of two Sigillarian fossil trunks trapped in sediments has indeed made it possible to trace their formation to the Westphalian Stage of the Carboniferous Period. Among other important plant fossils which have been found are the remains of Lepidodendron, Calamites, Pecopteris, Callipteridium and Neuropteris. These are the oldest traces of life in Ticino. Their presence testifies that at that time our region was in a tropical zone next to the equator and was dominated by a warm and humid climate.

CURIOSITIES

The Carboniferous conglomerates of Manno have largely been exploited in the construction of railway tunnels through the San Gotthard and Monte Ceneri. The interest was certainly not that of paleontological research, but rather the cost-effectiveness related to the presence of tons of pebbles.
scala temporale periodi geologici

HOW TO REACH THE SITE

From exit 49 of the A2 (Lugano north) follow the signs for Manno. Bypass the town of Manno and head towards Arosio. Before entering the forest, turn left and go down for 200 metres.

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE VISIT

The first station of the educational trail is located next to the parking lot.

TO LEARN MORE

AA.VV. (2008): I geositi dell’Insubria, Un itinerario lungo 350 milioni di anni. 68-71.
COTTI G. et al. (1990): Introduzione al paesaggio naturale del Cantone Ticino. Vol. 1, Le componenti naturali, Bellinzona, 484 pp.

www.geoinsubria.it
www.malcantone.ch
www.manno.ch
www.strada-regina.ch

project | contacts | links | partners
Programma di cooperazione transfrontaliera Italia - Svizzera 2007 - 2013 Progetto cofinanziato dal Fondo Europeo Sviluppo Regionale (FESR)
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