Monday, May 2, 2011

As Professor Allen wraps up his lectures in our Intro to Physical Geography class, my understanding of the landscape of the Province of Naples is coming full circle.  Thus, I will focus on the Island of Capri's karst landscape for my final blog.  Tectonic forces over time created a continuation of the carbonate horst of the Sorrento Penisula.  This island consists primarily of limestone, with climatic effects and ocean forces shaping the landscape.

Boats congregating around the entrance of the Grotto Azzurra "Blue Grotto", the small opening is almost concealed within the limestone cliffs.  

Rowboats taking visitors inside the Grotto Azzurra, the tiny entrance is the bright spot in the background.

This statue of Triton, the son of Neptune, god of the sea, was recovered from the Grotto Azzurra.  It is presumed there are several more statues within the cave, yet to be discovered.

Grotto Azzurra, "Blue Grotto", is a sea cave on the northern shore of Capri.  This cave has a long history of use from residents and visitors of the area.  When Capri was the capital of Rome, between 27-37 AD, the Roman emporer Tiberius (42 BC-37 AD) used the grotto as a swimming pool.  Most famous for its deep, intense blue water, the color does not come from sunlight entering the tiny opening that the rowboats use.  Instead, it comes from a cave opening that is now under water.  Eustatic sea level changes have submerged what once was the much larger opening, allowing sunlight to enter from below the surface, and the water reflects the blue color as seen in the photo above.

The Faraglioni Rocks protrude sharply above the littoral zone of the Island of Capri.  These sea stacks and the wave cut platform were created by the wave action of the Mediterranean Sea.

A Sea Arch in the Faraglioni Rocks.  A wave cut notch is visible on the right side of the arch.
 Picture sourced from:

Works cited:

Lorenzi, Rossella. Sep. 28, 2009. "Roman Statues Found in Blue Grotto Cave". retrieved from, April 28, 2011.

Barattolo, F. & Schiattarella, M. "A Brief Guide to the Geology of Capri Island". retrieved from, April 28, 2011.