SICILY 2022

Geoscience field excursion

We

About

The largest island of the Mediterranean

Thanks to it’s long-lasting tectonic history, Sicily features many world-class geological highlights:

  • Mount Etna, Europe’s most active and second largest volcano
  • The Sicily fold-and-thrust belt, which is the accretionary wedge of the Calabrian subduction zone
  • Well-exposed strata of the Messinian salinity crisis, a period in geological history when almost the entire Mediterranean sea dried out
  • and much more…

Facts

Not yet delivered...

UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Sicily

metres above the sea level make Mount EtnaEurope’s highest active volcano

BC is earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island

square kilometres make it the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea

Sicilian history

Sicily is the southernmost region of Italy and separated from the mainland by the narrow Strait of Messina. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean region, it has a long-lasting cultural heritage. The oldest archeological evidence of human presence on the island dates back as far as 12000 BC. In historic times, Sicily accommodated several Phoenician and Greek colonies and later became part of the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, Sicily saw a great diversity of rulers, like Vandals and Goths, became an emirate, and was then invaded and conquered by Normans which ultimately led to the formation of the Kingdom of Sicily. This state lasted until the 19th century, when Sicily finally became part of Italy. This rich historical heritage forms the basis for today’s unique Sicilian culture, which is especially expressed in the arts, music, architecture and cuisine.

Geology

The largest part of Sicily is formed by Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks that are now incorporated in the Sicily fold-and-thrust belt. In the far northeastern edge of the island, old metamorphic and magmatic basement rocks of the Variscan orogenic cycle are exposed. The eastern part of the island is dominated by Sicily’s most prominent geological landmark, the large Etna volcano.

Outlines

Quick presentation of each day...

Day 1

2001 eruption / Valle del Bove / Grotta del Trei Livelli / Piano dell’Acqua

...

Day 2

Riposto / Aci Reale / Sante Tecla / Santa Venera al Pozzo / Aci Castello / Sarro/Fleri / Gole dell’Alcantara

Day 2 was about describing the tectonic setting of Etna, through its evolution. We’ve seen the early stages of the volcano in Aci Castello, its evolution and the recent consequences that the growth of the volcano caused. Following the complex system of faults that start deep in the sea (Acireale), and run on the flanks of the volcano. An incredibly interesting geological setting that unfortunately brings with it hazards that caused (Santa Venera) and still cause extreme damages to the local villages (Fleri).

Day 3

Dinnammare / Forte Cavalli / Capo d'Ali / Monte Pernice / Monte Galfa

This third day shall focus on the metamorphic history of the NE of Sicily. This part of the island is composed of Variscan basement reworked during the Alpine orogeny. It created the Peloritani-Calabrian mountain chain visible today, from the SW of Italy (Calabria) to the NE of Sicily (Peloritani Mounts). We will begin our journey high in the mountains to discover the oldest basement at Dinnammare, which went through two orogenies and some magmatic intrusions. Then, we will continue at Capo d’Alí, to discover some carbonates with very low-grade metamorphism but intense deformation due to the Alpine orogeny. Finally, we end our trip at Monte Veneretta to discover wide tectonic structures related to the formation of these mountains.

Day 4

Monte Kumeta / Cozzo Paparina

Here we’ve got a vision of the large-scale processes impacting the sedimentation and paleoenvironment: be it a drastic climate change due to volcanism (Cozzo Paparina), or an intense tectonic event, like the opening of the Tethys ocean (Monte Kumeta).

Day 5

Rocca Busambra / Pizzo Mondello

Day 5 was about discovering the differences of tectonic impacts whether it’s occurring during the sedimentation, leading to a change of sedimentation dynamic (Numidian Flysch), or if it takes place post-sedimentation, giving rise to spectacular folds (Rocca Busambra). We also saw the sedimentary recovery from previous drastic climate change (see Day4_2, Cozzo Paparina) in a locality containing a GSSP (see tab Details of Pizzo Mondello).

Day 6

Eraclea Minoa / Giallonardo / Punta di Maiata

The massive evaporites deposits of Eraclea Minoa show us the impact of both the Messinian Salinity Crisis and the astronomical cyclicity. The crisis is followed by the Zanclean flood causing marls deposits showing cyclicity as well with their changes of colors (Punta di Maiata). Tectonic also affects these deposits, as shown by the accommodation of a thrust in messinian evaporites stratas (Giallonardo).

Day 7

Monte Capodarso / Monte Grande

...

Localities

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  • All
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7

Map of localities

Testimonials

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Saul Goodman

Ceo & Founder

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Sara Wilsson

Designer

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Jena Karlis

Store Owner

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Matt Brandon

Freelancer

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John Larson

Entrepreneur

Contact

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Location:

Albertov 6, 128 00 Prague 2, Czechia

Call:

+4202 22195 1111

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