Conca del Salto (ITA080011)
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Basin of the Salto

Site type: SIC - Site of Community Interest

Code: ITA080011 - Hectares: 291


Other site features: The most striking and most diversified vegetation is the forest one which is represented by riparian woods in Platanus
orientalis and Salix pedicellata, which settles along almost all the edges of the watercourses, and from evergreen woods to Quercus ilex, which cover the most inaccessible slopes
and rocky valleys. The spectacular rocky walls host a chasmophilous vegetation rich in rare and endemic species. The prairies are also frequent
perennial steppes with Hyparrhenia hirta and Ampelodesmos mauritanicus, which settle on the steepest and most degraded surfaces. Aspects of hygrophilous vegetation yes
found along watercourses with submerged or amphibious communities. The site falls within the territories of the municipalities of Modica, Ispica and Rosolini. The soils are mosaics of soils
degraded browns and Mediterranean red earths. The substrates are made up of compact tertiary limestones of the Plateau Ibleo series.The climate of the site is thermo-Mediterranean
according to the terminology of Rivas Martinez.Present Chasmophytic aspects (8210), aspects of the ephemeral meadows afferent to the Thero-Brachipodietea (6220), aspects of
thermo-Mediterranean vegetation with Euphorbia dendroides and Chamaerops humilis (5330), oak forests with Quercus ilex and their degraded aspects (9340). Formations
of the dripping

The Conca del Salto is geographically framed within the Iblei, in an almost central position and exactly along the river course of the Fiumara di Modica
at medium distance between the towns of Modica and Scicli. It is a cascade, the origin of which is to be connected to the responsible post Messinian tectonic activity
of the current structural arrangement of the Hyblaean Plateau. The cartographic location is given by the IGM 276 sheet tablet II NO? Scicli? in scale 1: 25.000 of the Map d?
Italy, with an altitude of about 230 m above sea level, while territorially insists in Contrada Scardacucco territory of Modica (RG), within a context
geological consisting mainly of Oligo-Miocene limestones of the Ragusa Formation. A thickness has been attributed to this formation from the subsoil data
overall of about 500 m, distinguishing two Members from the bottom upwards: Member Leonardo and Member Irminio. The entire sequence can be seen on the site
stratigraphic which includes the apical part of Mount Leonardo and the entire sequence of Mount Irminio. From a tectonic point of view, the surrounding area is affected by a
system of faults of particular importance, some of which are responsible for the seismotectonic evolution of the Hyblaean territory.
rural, it is possible to reach the bed of the Fiumara. From here, going up the stream for about a hundred meters, you reach a small lake at the foot of the
waterfall that geomorphologically is called with the term "Marmitta dei Giganti". The cascade, due to the effect of regressive erosion, is characterized
from a height difference of about 20 m. From the right bank of the lake it is possible to access a karst cave, whose vast atrium develops behind the waterfall
In addition, the site is also interesting from a karst point of view. In fact, two types of karst morphologies can be observed: one of the superficial type and the other of
underground type. The epigean morphologies refer to aspects of the surface relief, affected by karst dissolution processes but above all by deposits of the
travertine, very prevalent on the sides of the quarry. On the other hand, with regard to underground morphologies, six cavities are currently known, which overall
constitute the system? Grotte del Salto? (R. Ruggieri, 1990) The flora of the surrounding places is characterized by the presence of categories of physiognomic formations
herbaceous, such as the common caper; shrubs, such as butcher's broom, dwarf palm, prickly asparagus and arboreal, including carob, almond and olive trees (I. Galletti,
1990). Currently there is also a large area used for reforestation The major vulnerabilities of the site are represented by relatively
frequent, from grazing and agricultural practices, which in synergy determine erosive processes in some areas. Sensitive is the pressure of hunting and
fishing, which should undoubtedly be more carefully regulated and controlled, also in relation to the precious ichthyofauna hosted by the river waters. THE
neighboring territories are heavily anthropized, being affected by a network of roads and tracks, dispersed houses and land exploited for agriculture, which
isolate the site from other neighboring natural areas making any faunal exchanges difficult.The cavity develops at a depth of about 20 meters compared to
to the bed of the Modica stream, absorbing part of the stream periodically polluted by the wastewater discharged upstream from a purifier. More generally
a large part of the valley, upstream and downstream of the karst system mentioned, is heavily degraded and in critical health and hygiene conditions
of the community. The Regional Health Department to protect a spring adjacent to the cavity, used for drinking purposes by the Municipality of Scicli, and
periodically polluted, it has established a hygienic-sanitary constraint and defined an area to protect it with hydrogeological and temporal criteria. This constraint,
however, it was found to be ineffective due to the considerable proximity of the purifier and the rapid spread of pollution downstream; the latter factors that do not allow
implement effective dynamic protection of the water body

Source: Ministry of the Environment Natura 2000 form

Ministerial data: Ministerial Map  Natura 2000 form

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Photo: web

Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Region of Sicily

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