History of the Earth: origins of the Carinthian Nockberge
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The history of the Nockberge

Development of the Nockberge

Titanic forces, Tethys primal sea and the birth of the Gurktal Alps

When taking a look at the development of the Alps, of which the Nockberge are a part, you can’t neglect Greek mythology. The Tethys primal sea was located where the gentle knolls of the Nockberge now rise. The sea owes its name to the aquatic sea goddess and wife of the mighty Okeanos. This sea had to give way to the Alps arising as a result of truly titanic forces. Around 60 to 30 million years ago, the African tectonic plate began to move northwards – about as quickly as a fingernail grows. The Scandinavian plate countered. There was only one way for the material squeezed between these mighty plates to go – upwards. During this process, Tethys shrunk to the size of today’s Mediterranean Sea and the Nockberge soared to a height of slightly above 2,400 m.