Earth Pyramids In South Tyrol, Italy

February 01, 2022


Photographer: Salvatore Cerruto

Summary Author: Salvatore Cerruto

The earth pyramids (Erdpyramiden in German) are a fairly common natural monument in the province of South Tyrol, Italy. These geologic landforms are unique creations made by the erosion of loose deposits of glacial origin, characterized by a certain degree of consolidation. These deposits are distinguished by the presence of gravel and large boulders abundantly immersed in fine silty sediments. The severe erosion creating these pyramids is caused by surface water runoff gradually forming deeper furrows separated from each other by sharp ridges. Where large rocks exist in the landscape, the erosion is significantly slowed and causes the spires to be isolated with a boulder on top acting as a protective cap. Over time, the erosional force of the surface runoff leads to a progressive thinning of the column, which eventually will topple the structure.

Photo details: Nikon D800 + Samyang 14mm @f/18, ISO 320, 1/40 sec

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