The geology of the island of Sardinia leaves nothing to be desired. Professional geologists know that, of course. But even amateur geologists or rock and mineral collectors should know about the treasures of Sardinia. Anyone who just wants to take a look at the landscapes and understand how they came into being, will also be satisfied in Sardinia. The beaches, mountains and rocks have been shaped by strong forces. Furthermore Sardinia is a micro-continent - it is not connected to the Eurpean mainland. That makes landscapes, rocks, minerals and beaches so very outstanding and special
Experience earths history and geology
The geological history of Sardinia
The earth history of Sardinia goes back a long way. Geologically speaking, the island is stable and has passed its turbulent times. Earthquakes are unlike the mainland of Italy is not expected here. It is the only place in Italy with no seismic activies at all. Sardinia was once linked to Corsica and both islands belonged to the Ur-continent. The shifts of the continental plates, which are also responsible for the formation of the Alps, caused a separation of Sardinia and Corsica from Europe. The result was a so-called microplate - a separate continental plate. Hence Sardinia is also named "the small continent". In addition, in Sardinia, those strong forces caused rock formations, which for a long time were subject to various erosion, uplifting and subsidence.The result is obvious all around Sardinia.
Floods were following, which caused sedimentary rocks such as limestone and others. Today the origin of many rocks from the underwater worlds at that time is easily comprehensible. After the floods, tectonic activity led to an uplift that created many rocks and minerals being raised above sea level.
Geologcial outdoor museum Sardinia
If you are interested in geology and fantastic formations, Sardinia is the exact right place for you to be. There are minerals and rocks of almost all geological ages on the island. In the west of the island, around Oristano, there are mainly volcanic rocks. The basalt plateau "Giara di Gesturi" with its wild horses and the area around this plateau are strongly influenced by it. More information can be found in the article about the Giari di Gesturi. In the area of Monte Arci there are also traces of volcanic rocks. Above all, the obsidian found there was important in the context of Sardinias history.
Limestone is also very common in Sardinia. In contrast to the volcanic rocks that are created by eruptions and subsequent cooling, the limestone is a so-called sedimentary rock. It is created by deposits. The permeable limestone in Sardinia, in particular, creates great caves next to the mountains. These stalactite caves can be found, for example, along the coast of Gennargentu / Supramonte on the west coast of Sardinia, on the coast near Alghero and also in the area of Iglesiente. Probably the largest and most famous attraction is the Grotto Nettuno or Neptune's Grotto near Alghero.
Granite is found mainly in the Gallura in the north of the island. Also the mountain range of the Sette Fratelli (Region Costa Rei, Villasimius and more) in southern Sardinia is made of granite. Granite is also of volcanic origin. The same applies to quartz in Sardinia. It is formed by crystallization in the context of rock melts and is therefore often found in the area around volcanic rocks.
All in all, Sardinia is a huge outdoor museum in terms of geology. You do not have to be an expert to find beautiful rock formations, bizarre landscapes, cavesand a great variety or diversity of mountain ranges or landscapes. The history of the earth has created great impressions here that can be explored during a hike, a walk or even a round trip.