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Geological studies


The geological exploration of western Trentino began in the second half of the 19th century by scholars such as Wolf, Lepsius, Stache and Bittner. They recognized this area as fundamental for understanding the relationship between the Dolomites and the Western Alps. In 1870 the first specific studies on the Brenta Dolomites (Gumbel) and on the Val di Non (Loss) appeared. In 1903 the first “Geological Map of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy” was published on a scale of 1: 75,000.

Naturalists and cartographers had visited the Adamello and Brenta groups since 1700 observing the landscape. But it was with the birth and development of mountaineering (mid 19th century) that the first detailed cartographic surveys and the first studies of the glacial masses by J. Payer, Sonklar, Lorentz and Richter began. They published the first map of the Adamello glaciers (1865).

After the First World War and the passage of Trentino to Italy, German and Italian geologists focused their studies on stratigraphy. In particular on the structures of ​​the two mountain groups, defining their genesis and evolution. Trevisan’s work (1939) on the Brenta Dolomites established the main geological units constituting them.

In the 50s-60s, on the left side of the Val Rendena was undergone a search for exploitable uranium mineral deposits. While the works for the hydroelectric exploitation of the waters of the Park focused on the hydrogeological field. Especially with regard to water circulation in karst massifs (Brenta Dolomites).

In the second half of the ‘900, Merciai, Morandini and Castiglioni studied the evolution of the Adamello and Brenta glaciers. Thus a systematic work of monitoring the glacial masses began. It is currently conducted by the Glaciological Committee of the SAT in collaboration with the Park.

In the 70s and 80s, the theory of the Plate Tectonics was applied on the studies on the geological and structural evolution of the Geopark area. It was affected by large deformation structures (Linea delle Giudicarie). In this period the Adamello rocks were dated through the decay of the radioactive elements contained in the minerals (Del Moro, 1985).

In the last decades the interest has focused on the geomorphology and geology of the Quaternary with the production of detailed geomorphological maps of vast sectors of the Adamello (works by C. Baroni and A. Carton). Also interesting is the study of rock glaciers in collaboration with the Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali (today MuSe). As well as the research on the deformation history of the Adamello tonalite and on the ex seismic fault of the Wide Gorges conducted by the University of Padua and by INGV. a survey of this vast territory has also been made for the new Geological Map of the Autonomous Province of Trento (CARG project).

In 2018 with the University of Sassari fauna projects studied the relationship between biodiversity and geodiversity in the Geopark. Specifically, the importance of the rocky substrate in the life habits of chamois, their body mass and the size of the horns. The results are  interesting for the conservation strategies of the species.

Finally the analysis of the factors causing climate changes is of grat importance in the most recent studies of the Park and a priority theme for the philosophy of the Geopark. The Geopark recently started the feasibility analysis of the Geomorphological Map of its territory with the University of Pavia. The geomorphological map will be a basic tool for further studies. For example the geomorphological description of the Plots of the Biomiti Project and the definition of the Geopark Geoturistic Map.