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ITALY

In September 2001 a visit was made to Limone in Italy on Lake Garda.  The following scanned images cover some of the features seen which had a geological interest. These include the mountains around Limone sul Garda, the Dolomites and the earth pyramids at Renon.  On 26 September 2001 an earthquake took place at Limone sul Garda at 2214 hrs (2014 hrs UTC) - this was the first earthquake that my wife and I had experienced.  It registered 3.5 on the Richter Scale and between IV and V on the Mercalli Scale.  A 'noise' was heard followed by a shaking of the room and bed for a few seconds.  In the morning people said many  suspended items had 'swayed'.  A copy of the article from the local paper is included together with the internet report from the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica ( ING).

The Dolomites are part of the eastern Alps in northern Italy, the limestone formations containing the mineral dolomite.  There are many twisted limestone pinnacles and spires and towering rock walls.  The highest peak is the Marmolada at 3342 m.  Our trip climbed the Pordoi Pass (by coach) and we ascended in the cable car to the Sass Pordoi at 2950 m.  We then proceeded to the Sella Pass.

At Renon we visited the Valley of the Pyramids.  These structures are formed of moraine clays which, when dry, are very hard.  On becoming damp they become softer and the material 'flows' away.  Large stones, from the morraine, act as capping stones keeping the material beneath dry (and hence hard) and lead to the formation of the 'pyramid' structures.