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“Calanchi” landforms -Guardavalle, Calabria, Italy

We are along the side of the road that leads us to Guardavalle where a scenic landscape all dominated by the color white fits well in the context where this little village is located. A magnificent play of light and shade contrasts strongly with the intense colors of vegetation. A naturalistic monument shaped by primeval forces: wind and rain weathered and changed this land into its strangely deformed aspect that never fails to attract with its charm. The calanchi are intensely dissected landscapes and their development tends to be rapid and disorderly. Most of central and southern Italy is made up of territories covered by this type of badlands. The diffusion of calanchi in the Mediterranean basin can be attributed to an intense soil use.


“The cultural value of geomorphological heritage is universally recognised. Geomorphosites are considered as all the landforms and landscapes that can be valued and that have a particular and significant geomorphologic attributes, which qualify them as a component of a territory’s cultural heritage.”

The formation of different badland morphologies is due to the type of sedimentary bedrock as well as climate. Among the types of badlands, “calanchi” are landforms mainly originated from accelerated erosion and common in the Mediterranean region.

The calanchi slopes, naked or differently vegetated originated by the mutual interaction of several factors such as erosion, geomorphology, microclimatic conditions, vegetation, ground cover, and pedogenesis. So their origin is an extremely complex phenomenon in which a combination of water erosion processes and environmental characteristics controls the development of this type of landforms.

For a panoramic overview of this naturalistic beauty, check this out!



Written by

Francesca Politi - JUMP Team


Photos taken by Angelo Cavallaro

Sources:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235335631_Geomorphological_chemical_and_physical_study_of_calanchi_landforms_in_NW_Sicily_southern_Italy

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0169555X15300969