The history of Dolomiti Bellunesi is long and complex: It began in the warm tropical seas of more than two hundred million years ago and was subsequently characterized by some key events:
- the accumulation, during the Mesozoic Era, of the sediments that now form the sedimentary stratified rocks;
- the collision, during the Tertiary Era, between the European and African plates, with the deformation and folding of sediments and the consequent rising of the Alps;
- the shaping action carried out by the watercourses, glaciers, and karstic phenomena, responsible for the great variety of the current morphological landscapes.
Great part of the territory lies on rocks of sedimentary origin, but there are some exceptions, like in upper Valle del Mis and in Valle Imperina, where at the “Linea della Valsugana” (an important fault representing the geological border of the Dolomites), ancient rocks of metamorphic origin emerge.
Today in the Park we can admire large meadow basins, deep and wide valleys, large and sunny mountain faces, but also dark ravines dripping of water, rocks overhanging gloomy gorges, solitary and deep narrow valleys, and rough plateaus where the karst nature has given origin to a subterranean landscape made of pits, fissures, caves, galleries, and abysses penetrating the bowels of the earth.
The geological variety therefore implies a mosaic of morphological landscapes, often with distinctive and unique features, like high-mountain karst-nival environments shaped by the glaciers, and subsequently by snow and karst phenomena.