Surroundings: Val d’Arzino

After a few rainy weekends today the sun finally came out in Friuli. And so we went out of the gates of our little village towards the Carnic Alps, to Val d’Arzino. There the torrent Arzino finds his way through the hills and leaves beautifully hollowed-out rock formations. In some places plunging down in small but fine waterfalls. Its green to turquoise crystal clear water competes with the green, purple and red tones of the slate rock you can find here. Yes, colored slate! I had never seen it before and in fact it seems to be rare to find in the world. That’s what the German Professional Slate Association (yes, it existst) says on its website, at least.

If I’m right (and I hope so, otherwise I’ll get in trouble with my teacher from technologia) slate is a clastic rock and Wikipedia says:

“Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed ofclay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. It is the finest grained foliated metamorphic rock. Foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering, but instead is in planes perpendicular to the direction of metamorphic compression.

The very strong foliation is called “slaty cleavage”. It is caused by strong compression causing fine grained clay flakes to regrow in planes perpendicular to the compression. When expertly “cut” by striking parallel to the foliation, with a specialized tool in the quarry, many slates will form smooth flat sheets of stone which have long been used for roofing and floor tiles and other purposes. Slate is frequently grey in color, especially when seen, en masse, covering roofs. However, slate occurs in a variety of colors even from a single locality; for example, slate from North Wales can be found in many shades of grey, from pale to dark, and may also be purple, green or cyan. Slate is not to be confused with shale, from which it may be formed, or schist.”

I say: Perfect place for pick nicks :-)
Thanks, dear Judy, for this lovely trip today!

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