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Geology of the Dolomites

Formed 200 millions years ago out of the primeval ocean, today they reach 3,000 metres into the sky.

The Dolomites owe their name to the French Déodat Tancrè de Gratet de Dolomieu (1750- 1801) who "discovered" the chemical composition, i. e. stratified calcium magnesium carbonate, that renders this rock so different from all the rest. Dolomieu, a nobleman and member of the French Institute, was also a geologist.

In 1789 Dolomieu collected rock samples and sent these to the geologist Nicholas de Saussure for examination. He had been intrigued by the rock's abnormal reaction to chloral acid, since it reacted less violently to this acid than other calcium based rocks.

The geological history of the Dolomites is represented by the numerous fossils and minerals that have been found in our area. The sedimentary rocks unveil a large number of easily accessible fossils and minerals found.