Start point: Passo dei Salati
Drop: Passo dei Salati (cirular route)
Trekking time: 3 h
The Cimalegna area is an ideal place to examine the geological history of the north-western Alps, with particular regard to the geodynamic processes that in 200 million years generated continental rifting, the opening of the Ligurian-Piedmontese Mesozoic ocean (Tetide western), its gradual closure in subduction (from 90 Ma), the collision (45 Ma) between the European continental margin (Zona Pennidica) and the overlying Adriatic continental margin (Austroalpine), the final uplift of the chain.
On a global scale, we are faced with a divergent (ocean formation) and then convergent (oceanic subduction and continental collision) plate margin.
In Cimalegna and along the watershed ridge with the Lys valley we find in a short space rocks from very distant areas and very different continental and oceanic environments, a long geological history that has also involved deep portions of the earth’s crust and mantle scales lithospheric.
The natural environment is also interesting from the pedological point of view, due to the soils that are formed in particular conditions due to the presence of an almost flat area, high altitudes and extreme climatic conditions. If compared with geological times, they are formed “in an instant” constituting the most superficial film of the earth’s crust.