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Geology of Tyrol

In Tyrol the geological character is the significant fault line along the Inntal. The northern part is sedimentary rock (predominantly limestone - Northern Calcareous Alps). To the south metamorphic rock and igneous rock are prevailing. In this part you may find small isolated sedimentary rock areas as well (i.e. the Kalkkögel in the Stubai Alps). This geological border made it possible for the river “Inn“ to cut deeply into the bedrock and form the Inntal as we know it today.

For us doing canyoning the knowledge of the geological structure of a canyon and of the catchment area together with its specific discharge characteristics is very important.

The dominating rocks can be roughly divided into three big groups:

  • sedimentary rock (limestone, dolomite, sandstone, conglomerate etc.)
  • metamorphic rock (schist, phyllite, gneiss etc.)
  • igneous rock (basalt, granite, diabase etc.)

It was not possible for us to make an exact geological investigation for every of those canyons, but we have marked the canyons in the geological map on the following pages. Further we tried to describe the storage feature and characteristic of discharge of the rock groups. On site you have to be especially careful if there is karstification or bedded rock in the catchment area.

At all trip descriptions the size of the catchment area in km² and the dominating rock is mentioned. This will help you to estimate how high the risk of a sudden increase of the water level in the canyon is in case of precipitation.