Punta Bianca Rock Outcropping

March 08, 2022


Photographer: Salvatore Cerruto

Summary Author: Giovanni Floridia

Traveling along the Sicilian coast- a few kilometers southeast of Agrigento- visitors can admire the Trubi rock outcroppings. These unique and beautiful rocks are named after the term “Trubi” that in the Sicilian dialect indicates a land of whitish color. This specific landform has been given the name Punta Bianca. Intrinsically linked to the surrounding Mediterranean basin, the sea deposits layers of different mineral composition and morphology. These deposited layers represent part of a succession of an ancient open sea floor, exhumed by tectonic forces and eroded by the action of the wind. From their geologic history, important scientific information useful for paleogeographic and paleoclimatic reconstruction is recorded in these landforms.

History locked away in this landform goes back approximately five million years when a partial drying of the Mediterranean basin occurred, known as the “Messinian salinity crisis”. During this portion of geologic history, conditions were ideal for small calcareous shell microorganisms called Planktonic Foraminifera. The deposition of these calcareous shells combined with the underlying geology to produce limestone and marl banks. Visitors to the area can now admire the beauty of these white rocks as they overlook the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to being a beautiful lookout point, the Punta Bianca also serves as protection from the strong Sicilian Channel currents. Photo taken June 21, 2020.

Photo details: Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24, f/2.8 @20mm, f/10, ISO-200, 1/30 sec.

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