Commune: Szczawnica (pow. nowotarski, woj. małopolskie)

Framework element or context represented:
The representative component of the Pieniny Klippen Belt geodiversity.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
Unique rocky scenery of the gorge, the tectonic contact of calcareous formations of Czorsztyn and Niedzica successions, stratotype of Czajakowa Radiolarite Formation, Holocene landslide.

Comparative assessment justification:
The singular type of a gorge generated by geological structure, tectonic events and mass movement. Spectacular and instructive rocky scenery of a narrow gorge with a stratotype and exposed tectonic structures.

Protection status and accessibility:
Homole Gorge is protected as the nature reserve called “Wąwóz Homole” - reserve of Jan Wiktor memory 1963. Touristic trail described in geological guides; one of most important site for student education. Important locality proposed for the European GEOSITES Network and Pieniny Geopark.

Character of site: Rocky gorge.

Area: 58.64 ha

Altitude: 550-718 m a.s.l.

Lithology: other siliceous rocks, limestones, shales

Discipline: Geomorphology, Stratigraphy of Quaternary, Stratigraphy of Phanerozoic, Tectonics

Process Age: Holocene, *all periods

Bedrock Age: Cretaceous, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
The Homole Gorge is a classic example of a trench morphology, which originated as the result of uprising, cracking and dividing of calcareous plate into blocks and their irregular subsidence in softy, shale substratum. These processes have determined the unique gorge, which is characterised by threshold-like and narrow bottom and by unusual rocky scenery of its fringe. A large landslide dated at the beginning of the Holocene damming the valley and forming a huge block field is another value of this gorge. Calcareous formations of the Czorsztyn and Niedzica successions crop out along the gorge. Characteristic features of the Czorsztyn Succession are crinoids and calpionella limestones belonging to different formations of the Jurassic age. The Niedzica Succession comprises a stratigraphic profile from the Upper Lias to Lower Cretaceous. The outstanding feature here is a stratotype of the Czajakowa Radiolarite Formation (Oxfordian). The tectonic contact of the low dipping limestones of first mentioned succession with the strongly folded deposits of the other one is clearly visible. The origin of the Homole Gorge and its geological setting characterised by tectonic contact of different standard successions are exceptional values in the whole area of Pieniny Klippen Belt.


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