The rocks of Finale
Geological Classification and Orogenesis
The main stratigraphic series of the Ligurian Brianconnais zone can be found within the few square kilometres of Finale Ligure.
Località Le Mànie features a unique Gneiss outcrop [t.n.: gneiss is pronounced /nais/ as in the word nice] of ancient crystallized rocks that emerges through a tectonic window [t.n.: geological structures caused by erosion].
MORE INFORMATION – The rocks of Finale
The Permo-Carboniferous series is made up of metamorphic rock such as Gorra schist – formed by the transformation of sedimentary rocks – and andesitic volcanic rock such as the Eze outcrop, which comes in peculiar shades of pistachio green or red. Indeed, porphyroid outcrops on Mount Melogno testify to intense volcanic activity.
These ancient rocks are covered by a sedimentary series that was formed when Permian volcanic activity ceased and sea levels rose. Surfacing deposits of beaches led to Verrucano outcrops and to the greenish-white quartzites of Ponte di Nava. These are layered over by grey Triassic dolomite from S. Pietro ai Monti – easily recognisable by its white veins. As a matter of fact, this layer was once a shallow seawater deposit subject to continuous subsidence and high levels of evaporation. After the area emerged from the sea, the distension of the earth’s crust led to a build-up of marine sediments, which is when the grey-pink calcareous spar of the Tanarello Valley was formed, that is so clearly visible within the cliffs of Cape Noli.
The bedrock of Finale Stone goes back to the Oligocene, twenty million years ago, when a 220-metre thick layer of real Finale Stone, made up of conglomerates and sandstone, was formed by a build-up of materials inside a gradually sinking gulf, where luxuriant fauna thrived in calm, warm waters. The result is a unique and much sought-after limestone typically packed with shell fragments, corals, shark teeth or echinodermata [t.n. invertebrate marine animals, such as starfish] and other sea organisms.