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  Butterloch Gorge

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Added in: 08-2015
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Geology site description:

The Bletterback (Butterloch) canyon is a spectacular canyon that is accessible via a beautiful path from the visitor centre of Geoparc Bletterbach. The canyon cuts through a succesion of Permian and Triassic volcanic and sedimentairy rocks, which are nicely exposed in the canyon.

The lower part of the succession consists of the famous Bolzano Quartz Porphyry. This unit is overlain by the Val Gardena Sandstone Formation, comprising fluviatile sandstones with cross-bedded channel deposits, paleosols with root horizons and overbank deposits. The environment was one of meandering rivers in a flood plain setting with sabkha lakes. Towards the terminal Permian, the marine influence increased. The first major flooding event that reached the Butterloch Canyon area is evidenced by the so-called "Marine Band', a marine limestone rich in cephalopods. De hieropvolgende Bellerphon Formation consists of an alternation of grey, fossiliferous limestones, dolostones, siltstones, sandstones and gypsum, deposited in a very shallow marine lagoonal and tidally influenced setting. 

The Bletterbach (Butterloch) canyon is famous for the abundance in well-preserved plant fossils and footprints left behind by small tetrapods (e.g. Gorgonopsids). 

The lower part of the Butterloch Canyon, with the Bolzano Quartz Porphyrite outcropping.
Added by: FossilDude on 01-09-2015

The middle part of the Butterloch Canyon, with the Val Gardena Sandstone Formation exposed.
Added by: FossilDude on 01-09-2015

Bletterbach Geoparc entrance
Added by: FossilDude on 01-09-2015

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The Butterloch Canyon is located south-east of Bolzano. From the highway exit Egna you can drive to the villages of Aldino and Mitterstrich. From there, there is a small, but clearly indicated road to the Geoparc Bletterback. There is a large (payed) parking at the entrance of the Canyon. At the geoparc, you'll have to pay a small entrance-fee for the path that goes through the canyon. You'll also receive helmets here. The path is child-friendly.

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Other locations in the area
Fossil location: Piz Boè
Fossil location: Selva di Val Gardena (Wolkenstein)
Geology location: Pufels (Bulla)
Museum: Bletterbach Geoparc
Museum: Museo Delle Scienze

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added by Johan Vellekoop

Collecting Code

Everybody using the geology site descriptions from this site has to respect the Collecting and Field trip Code!