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Ergaki Nature Park

Geology

     Ergaki Nature Park is located in Western Sayan mountains. It is famous for impressive rock formations, cliffs, lakes and waterfalls - the result of millions years of glacial activity.

    The main mountain building eras (orogeny era). The mountains were formed about 700-400 million years ago. These ancient mountains were destroyed about 300 million years ago in the Paleozoic Era. Formed again about 250 million years ago they were nearly destroyed by Mesozoic tectonic deformation approximately 80 million years ago. Vigorous convergent movements of Earth's crust formed modern Altai-Sayan mountainous area in the most recent geological era – Cenozoic Era 70 million years ago. Glacial movements, weathering and erosion finished the modern look of the Sayan Mountains about 2 million years ago.

    Over the last 700-800 thousand years three major glaciations occurred in the region which further modified the area. Ice excavated trough valleys – wide bottom depressions with steep sides and deep cirques – amphitheater-like valleys high on a mountain with bowl-shaped bottom and cliff-like slopes on three sides. Glaciers retreated and left U-shaped river valleys, glacial lakes (tarns), moraines and boulder fields.

    Such landmarks of mountainous areas as buttes – isolated hills with steep, often vertical sides and small, relatively flat tops also could be seen in Ergaki in Rock Town.