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Campolungo Region

A lagoon at 2300 metres above the sea

Svizzera, Cantone Ticino, PRATO LEVENTINA

Positioning

Regione del Campolungo

COORDINATES
(CH 1903) E   698930 N   147590 H   2140.0
(WGS 84) Long.   8.727 Lat.   46.472
GENERAL EVALUATION
DIFFICULTY E-T2/T3
SCIENTIFIC INTEREST PRIMARY:
Structural geology, Mineralogy / petrology

SECONDARY:
Stratigraphie, Paleontology, Karst morphology
OTHER INTERESTS Naturalistic, Landscape, Hiking
GEOSITE   GEOLOGICAL - tectonic

DESCRIPTION

In the region of Campolungo, rocks of sedimentary origin with a characteristic whitish colour emerge extensively. These are the result of carbonatic sediments which accumulated on the seabed of the ancient tropical sea which occupied the whole of the present Alpine region during the Triassic Period (between 245 and 210 million years ago).

INSIGHT

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.

CURIOSITIES

The region is dotted with alpine lakes and has many rare species of flora. Pizzo Prevat, a mountain peak which stands next to the fold of Campolungo, is considered a monument in the alpine history of Ticino.
scala temporale periodi geologici

HOW TO REACH THE SITE

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.

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE VISIT

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.

TO LEARN MORE

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.

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