The Alps

The Alps were formed eighty million years ago, when the Eurasian and African continental plates collided.
The line or fault that connects the two plates is called the Periadriatic Seam. On satellite images, it looks like a "scar" that was created when the mountains that today are known as the Alps were born.
The Insubric line or Periadriatic Seam consists of a series of faults (discontinuities) that run from east to west: With a total length of over about 1,000 km, it extends from Turin towards Canavese, along the Valtellina valley, the Tonale mountain pass all the way to Merano 2000 and on to the Pannonian Basin.
The section of the Periadriatic Seam that crosses the city of Merano/Meran and the Nova/Naif valley is called the Meran-Mauls fault.
The Merano 2000 cable car runs across the valley and, in summer, offers fascinating glimpses of the connecting fault: Where the two differently coloured rock formations porphyry (red, right to the top ) and granite (white, left to the top ) meet, the Periadriatic Seam suddenly becomes visible.

The Alps are home to rock formations that originally made up the seabed between the two tectonic plates. When the plates began to move, the seabed was pushed upwards, creating mountains.

Whenever two continental plates drift apart, on the other hands, new oceans are formed.
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