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The Cavallaccio Boulder

Erratic boulders: silent witnesses of the past

Italia, Regione Lombardia, provincia di Varese, Ranco

Positioning

Ranco

COORDINATES
(CH 1903) E   689339 N   72557 H   195.0
(WGS 84) Long.   8.588 Lat.   45.799
GENERAL EVALUATION
DIFFICULTY T-T1
SCIENTIFIC INTEREST PRIMARY:
Glacial morphology

SECONDARY:
OTHER INTERESTS Naturalistic, Landscape
Hiking
GEOSITE   GEOMORPHOLOGICAL - glaciers

DESCRIPTION

The Cavallaccio Boulder, more commonly called “Sass Cavalàsc”, is a huge boulder of serprentinite on the shore of Lake Maggiore, Varese. It is located in the town of Ranchi near the border with Ispra. It has a parallelepiped, or rhomboid, shape, is of an enormous size, and is deeply embedded in sediments along the shore of the lake, tilted on one side at a sharp angle.

INSIGHT

Serpentinite is a metamorphic rock formed from peridotite, typical of the upper mantle. It consists predominantly of serpentine, a mineral silicate typically green in colour. At the base of this erratic boulder there is a roughly cylindrical cavity (almost always hidden below the level of the lake) known as “pot of the giants”, produced by prolonged abrasion by detritus on the rock, under the force of turbulent currents and whirlpools of water. The cavity, located at the base of the stone on the side towards the lake, is visible only during periods when the lake water is at a low level.

scala temporale periodi geologici

HOW TO REACH THE SITE

From Sesto Calende, take the S.P. 69, which follows the eastern shore of the lake north, and exit towards the center of Ranco. The site is located a few hundred metres east of the centre of the village.

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE VISIT

The site is marked by signs. Recent renovations along the shores of the lake have made the trail quite easy to follow.

http://www.comune.ranco.va.it/sa/sa_p_testo.php?sa=1&tipohtml=1&rrfupro=../sa/sa_p_testo.php&nodo=23&idservizio=23&server=&ente=c012116&sigla=&node=22

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