A new geological map in Veneto

“Sheet 046 Longarone” is a geological map at a scale of 1:50,000 covering an area extending from Longarone to Agordino that took almost two decades to complete. If you want to understand the importance of every single piece of the “Italian geological mosaic”, you only need to visit the section dedicated to the Geological Map of Italy, on the website of the Supreme Institute for Environmental Protection and Research [ISPRA]. The aim of the project is to offer an overall vision of a Peninsula that is in extreme need of it for obvious reasons, linked not only to research but also to environmental protection – particularly given the region’s high degree of seismic activity and hydrogeological instability, which are amplified by the increasingly intense phenomena linked to the climate crisis.

Civetta ph. Elia Lazzari

Ph. Elia Lazzari

The presentation in Agordo

The presentation was held on 10 February in the main hall of the “Follador-De Rossi” Institute in Agordo (BL), whose curriculum includes Geotechnics. The conference – organised by the Geological Service of the Soil Defense Directorate of the Veneto Region, ISPRA, the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara, the Veneto Order of Geologists and the “Follador-De Rossi” Institute – was attended by more than a hundred geologists, as well as Regional Councillor for the Environment Gianpaolo Bottacin, ISPRA Director General Maria Siclari, Agordo mayor Roberto Chissalè, and Follador school principal Antonella Pacieri, and included numerous speeches that allowed for a review of the geological mapping of the Veneto Region.

A “dolomites” sheet

The speeches included one by Professor Piero Gianolla, a geologist from the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences at the University of Ferrara and a member of the Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation who coordinated and directed the survey of the Sheet. We asked him about the relevance that the new “Longarone Sheet” assumes in the geological interpretation, including that of the Dolomite groups included in it, such as Schiara, Monti del Sole, Bosconero, Moiazza and Civetta: “Sheet 046 Longarone is an important milestone as regards the geological knowledge of the area, and is the result of years of passionate and comprehensive research. A significant portion of the Sheet”, explains Professor Gianolla, “falls within System 3 of the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites and the Belluno Dolomites National Park, and there are many outstanding geological and geomorphological features present, among which I would like to mention Mount Burel, one of the highest and most impressive carbonate rock walls in the world. There are also numerous sites of importance for Mesozoic stratigraphy, palaeontology (the study of fossils), mining research (think of the Imperina Valley mines or those in Cibiana and Zoldano) and geomorphology. I would then remind you that the Sheet documents some of the most important landslides that have marked the history, including the recent history, of the Belluno area and shaped the region. Historical landslides include those of Alleghe Lake (1771), La Valle Agordina (1701), Fagaré-Pontesei (1959) and Vajont (1963), which was catastrophic. Therefore, the geological Sheet will serve to enhance our understanding of an area characterised by a high degree of geodiversity, as well as by the fragility inherent in its great geological complexity, and mountains and valleys of extraordinary natural and scenic value,” concludes Professor Gianolla.