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Papuk, Croatia to be proclaimed UNESCO Geopark

Source:Source: Published:May 08,2007

According to Croatian media,it is very likely that Papuk mountain in Slavoniawill be included in the UNESCO'S network of the world's geoparks. Thefull membershipis expected to be confirmed in September. BesideVelebit and the Plitvice Lakes, Papuk will be the third geopark located in Croatia.

Papuk has sixty nine protected geological localities, including the geological phenomenon Rupnica,which covers almost the whole Earth’s geological history. Not hiding their admiration for Papuk, the largest island in the Panonian Sea some twenty million years ago, the UNESCO’s commission confirmed on Sunday in Velika its nomination for a European geopark.

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The biggest and most beautiful mountain of Papuk was proclaimed protected area because of the exceptional geological diversity. The Papuk is made of rocks in the age range of 350 million years. Besides the geochronological, people can find lithographical diversity represented in variety of rocks made during sedimentary, metamorphic and magmatic processes.

In the area of Park of Nature Papuk represented are geological formations since Precambrian time, Palaeozoic time, Mesozoic time, and youngest members in the Cenozoic time. The most certain proof about time of formation of rocks are obtained by the radiometric method of determining ages, and the majority of results in the oldest complexes, are between 352 and 376 million of years (younger Palaeozoic). Several results direct to the Precambrian age (421-650 million years), and are explained as the remaining of the basement rocks, which were base for the complexes of rocks of the Palaeozoic age.
The represented geological formations were created in the several orogeny cycles during the geological history (Baikalian, Caledonian, Hercynian or Alpine), while in the final formation, the neotectonical movements had the main role. The most important geological processes of creation are connected with the area of Hercynian orogeny (Late Paleozoic time), and are represented with: progressively metamorphic complex, I-type granite and contact metamorphic rocks, migmatites, and S-type granites, as well as semi metamorphic complex.

Geologically youngest creations are connected to the alpian orogeny, which could be found in the Mesozoic sediments, which are between 65 and 260 million years old (Permian-Triassic, Triassic, and Cretaceous). Endo of Mesozoic time is represented in the Cretaceous volcanic-sedimentary complex, to which the geological monument Rupnica belongs. In the brim of Papuk there are Neogene sediments of Pannonian basin. All on the mentioned creations were found hundreds of kilometres further in the area of Drava river. The complexity of geological conditions also stipulated an interested hydrogeological phenomenon - natural thermal springs in the valley of stream Dubočanka.

His impressions of the geological characteristics of the landscapes, in the most beautiful manner described famous travel and essayistic writer Matko Peić, who says: ' Some could not believe if they were told that the one of Papuk's peaks is called High Peak, and that is reaches close to 900 m! It would be hard to understand that here from the plain, climbing up are mountains, like crags, like peaks, from the died out Miocene sea, and that when climbing one comes across fossilized sea shells, sea-stars, snails, and sea-weeds. They do not realize that during moonlight the volcanic rocks are glowing in the dark, and archaic gneisses, mica schist. They cannot realize that when you tell them and point on the geological map of Croatia, that the area of Požega is red, meaning that the soil is not soft, but from the eruptive granite rocks, basalt!'