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Earth Mushrooms of Rezzago

Solitary witnesses of the past

Italia, Regione Lombardia, provincia di Como, Rezzago

Positioning

Rezzago

COORDINATES
(CH 1903) E   740345 N   80693 H   613.0
(WGS 84) Long.   9.246 Lat.   45.863
GENERAL EVALUATION
DIFFICULTY T-T1
SCIENTIFIC INTEREST PRIMARY:
Glacial morphology

SECONDARY:
Gravitational phenomena and processes
OTHER INTERESTS Landscape
GEOSITE   GEOMORPHOLOGICAL - erosion

DESCRIPTION

The “Earth Mushrooms” are located on the right side of the valley of the Rezzago River and are a Natural Monument of the Lombardy Region. They look like earth pyramids topped by a large rock, called a “hat”. The structures are formed by the erosion of rain water which removes the sandy material from all around the structure except for that at the base of the “hat”, which works as an natural “umbrella”, protecting the underlying deposits. However, the mushrooms are short-lived: with the passage of time the base of the mushroom thins more and more until the “hat” falls, and in a short time the base of the mushroom is eroded by water.

INSIGHT

The “Earth Mushrooms” are located on the right side of the valley of the Rezzago River and are a Natural Monument of the Lombardy Region. These structures are formed by the erosive action exerted by the runoff of soils of glacial origin. The glacial deposits are those left by the Abduano glacier, coming from the north, during its last phase of glacial maximum (about 20,000 years ago). The run-off of rainwater leads to a gradual erosion of the moraine material, composed of rock blocks of various sizes, immersed in a sandy matrix. The largest stones, initially immersed in the deposits, have protected the underlying morainic material during erosion, while all the surrounding material, not enjoying the protection of such an “umbrella”, has been removed. The result is the “Earth Mushrooms”, known in scientific literature as the “Pyramids of Erosion”. With the passage of time, these structures lengthen and become increasingly thinner, until, when the rock which has protected them collapses, there remains only the column of narrow material, exposed to atmospheric agents and so rapidly eroded.

CURIOSITIES

Along the way through the Natural Monument you can see two well-formed “mushrooms” (there was a third which recently collapsed) and other more modest structures in the early stages of formation. The area is occupied by a mixed forest, once a coppice, with locust, hazel, hornbeam, oak and ash trees, and with relatively poor undergrowth: at the end of the path which passes through the Natural Monument you arrive at the magnificent chestnut of Enco, one of the most famous and precious of the Lariano Triangle.
scala temporale periodi geologici

HOW TO REACH THE SITE

From S.S. 339, connecting Como to Lecco, turn to the north, continue up to Erba and then to the Valassina. Once in Canzo, follow the signs to the village of Rezzago.

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE VISIT

Park your car at the post office in Rezzago. From there you proceed into the village, going down towards the river. The trail starts at the bridge which crosses the valley.

http://www.triangololariano.it/stampa-contenuto.aspx?IDContenuto=132

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Programma di cooperazione transfrontaliera Italia - Svizzera 2007 - 2013 Progetto cofinanziato dal Fondo Europeo Sviluppo Regionale (FESR)
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