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Geological Heritage is the set of non-renewable natural resources, of scientific, cultural or educational value, that make it possible to recognise, study and interpret the evolution of the Earth's geological history and the processes that have affected it.

From a geological point of view, the Calabro-Lucano border and the area of the Pollino National Park have been the subject of studies and interpretations since the beginning of the last century (De Lorenzo, 1904) and have always been of great interest in the geology of the Mediterranean and southern Italy, representing one of the key areas for understanding the structural relationships between the Calabro-Peloritano Arc and the southern Apennines.
Furthermore, it should be considered that the geological-geomorphological evolution of these territories determined the formation of the Geosites and represented the first and fundamental starting point on which the territory's huge and extraordinary biodiversity and great historical-anthropological and cultural richness developed.

We present the study entitled La geologia del massiccio del Pollino nell'ambito del Mediterraneo (The geology of the Pollino massif in the Mediterranean area), written by Francesco Muto and Gaetano Robustelli, University of Calabria - Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences, extracted from the volume "Tutela, valorizzazione e gestione della geodiversità", edited by Luigi Bloise and Egidio Calabrese, and realised on the occasion of the 8th Workshop of the Unesco Global Geoparks in Italy.
The work is structured in 7 chapters: Geological framework; Ligurian Complex; Carbonate Units; Lungro-Verbicaro Unit; Pollino-Ciagola Unit; Tectonic lineaments; The landscape of the Pollino National Park.

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Geological framework

From south to north, southern Italy is subdivided into two morphotectonic belts: the northern Calabrian Arc, consisting of ophiolites, crystalline basement rocks and its Mesozoic cover; the Cilento and the Calabro-Lucano border ridges, consisting of ophiolites and sedimentary and metasedimentary rocks.


Liguride Complex

It consists of two ophiolite units covered by thick turbiditic sequences, considered to be the result of an accretionary wedge that developed in the late Cretaceous-Miocene.


Carbonate units

The Pollino-Ciagola Unit is tectonically covered by ophiolitic units in the north-eastern part of the Pollino massif, while it is covered by the Lungro-Verbicaro Unit in the north-western part . The Cetraro Unit is tectonically covered by the Lungro-Verbicaro Unit and both are covered by ophiolitic and continental crust units.


Lungro–Verbicaro Unit

The stratigraphic succession of the Lungro-Verbicaro Unit, characterised by high-pressure and low-temperature metamorphism, is formed in its lower part by phyllites and metarenites of the Middle Triassic with intercalations of carbonates.


The Pollino–Ciagola Unit

The main outcrops are located along the ridge of the Ciagola-Gada mountains and along the villages of Aieta, Maratea and Campotenese, and include carbonate slope facies deposits.


Tectonic remarks

The geology of the Calabro-Lucano boundary suggests that the construction of this chain system is a continuous and progressive process through which the platform and basin domains were enlarged in the southern continental margin of the Neotethys.

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The landscape of the Pollino National Park

The Pollino National Park shows remarkable geological complexity being formed by tectonic units consisting of different types of rocks belonging to different paleogeographic domains.

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