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  23.01.2020, 07:00h


How it all began: mountains

The Krka River is bounded by mountains on three sides – Mt. Velebit to the west, Mt. Dinara to the north and Mts. Svilaja and Mosor to the east.

The relief around the Krka River is marked by the wall of mountains to the north, created by Mts. Dinara and Uilica and the southeastern end of Mt. Velebit, the valley depressions (Knin polje, Kosovo polje and Petrovo polje fields), limestone plateaus (northern Dalmatian, Kistanje and the plateaus surrounding the Krka and Čikola Rivers) and the canyons of the Krka, Krčić and Čikola Rivers. Between the valley depressions and the plateaus lies Mt. Promina.

The mountains around the Krka River belong to the Dinarides mountain range and were created some 20 to 30 million years ago. Their tectonic evolution began with the subduction of the African plate (Adriatic microplate) under the Eurasian plate, as a result of the breakdown and shifting of the palaeocontinents Gondwana and Laurasia. During the time of the settlement of the first deposits in the present day area of the Krka River, the Dinarides region was part of the vast Tethys Sea. In general, the entire Dinarides area, in which the Krka River Canyon was cut, arose from the subduction of the African plate (Adriatic microplate) under the Eurasian plate, following the breakdown and shifting of the palaeocontinents Gondwana and Laurasia. During the time of the settlement of the first deposits in the present day area of the Krka River, the Dinarides region was part of the vast Tethys Sea. The collision of the African plate with the European one, which began at the end of the Cretaceous period about 65 million years ago and is still ongoing today, caused the sea to shrink and was characterised by intensive tectonic movements. Layers of rock, originally settled on the seabed, were folded, broken and raised up above the sea level, creating massive mountain chains such as the Alps and the Dinarides.

In his paper Polja gornje Krke [Fields of the Upper Krka], professor Mladen Friganović leads us around the upper Krka River, in the transition area between the mountainous inland and the coastal belt. The valley depressions (Knin polje, Kosovo polje and Petrovo polje fields) lie almost in line with the parallels; and are closed off by Mt. Dinara (elevation 1831 m) and Mt. Svilaja (1509 m) to the east, while to the west is the limestone plateau extending all the way to the southeastern end of Mt. Velebit and the Bukovac hills. Northeast of the Knin Polje field is the dominating limestone massif, Mt. Dinara and its foothills. Mt. Dinara is a bordering mountain between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the side facing westwards belonging to the Dalmatia region of Croatia, and the side facing east falling within the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The highest peaks of Mt. Dinara overlook Peručko Lake and the view extends all the way to the Triglav Mountains in Slovenia, and the neighbouring mountains Svilaja and Promina, filling the horizon around the Krka River.

East of the Knin Polje field is the Krčić Valley, which is collected with the valleys under Mts. Dinara and Svilaja. Both to the east and west of the Knin Polje field lies the limestone plateau into which the Krka has cut its path. On both side of the southern part of the Kosovo Polje field, the plateau narrows and suddenly shifts into the steep limestone slopes of Mts. Kozjak and Promina. Around Petrovo Polje field, the plateau is most pronounced and widest to the east, where the gently rolling “Podi” foothills rise up to meet the slopes of Mt. Svilaja. At the western edge of the field rises Mt. Promina (1148 m), a typical example of an island formation.

Mt. Promina is bounded to the west by the Krka River Canyon, to the south by the Čikola River Canyon, and to the east by the Petrovo Polje field. Mt. Promina dominates the surrounding lower areas, and provides lovely views to the south of the Miljevci plateau and the Krka and Čikola Rivers, and from the peak it is possible to see the Adriatic Sea and islands, some 30 km away.