The Makar – Vošac hiking trail is one of the most frequented trails in Biokovo Nature Park.
For those unfamiliar with geology and geography, geological time is a strange, often times unbelievable and completely incomprehensible dimension. However, geological history, or the age of the Earth of about 4.6 billion years, is generally accepted. In our case, when we stand on the trail near the Chapel of Sveti Ilija (St. Elias) in Biokovo Nature Park, we are standing on rock that is layered limestone of Middle Jurassic age, about 174 to 172 million years old, the oldest in the park area. Until that time, the Earth had already experienced more than 96 percent of its history. At that time, the Earth was ruled by the dinosaurs, and the Atlantic Ocean still had not been formed. The carbonate sands and silt that later created these rocks in present day Mt. Biokovo then settled in the shallows of a warm, subtropical sea lying at about the 20th parallel north. This prehistoric ocean has been called the Tethys Ocean by geologists. Since then, this “pre-Biokovo” region has travelled from about the 20th parallel north to just about the 43rd parallel north, more than 1650 kilometres. Those this is a seemingly large distance, we should not forget that this took place over an incredible time period of about 172 million years! It was not just Biokovo that “travelled” northwards, but the entire European continent, due to the movements of the tectonic plates in the lithosphere. This was caused by the pushing of the African plate, the largest at that time, against the European plate, a process that is still active to this day.
The basic groups of rock that make up the Earth’s core are igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock. The best known igneous, or magmatic, rock are the granites and basalt rocks. Most of the karst Dinarides (more than 95% volume) is composed of carbonate rock. These were formed primarily from carbonate silts and sands that settled in the shallow sea, where great layers of these deposits formed.
Mt. Biokovo is built exclusively of sedimentary rock and deposits. Two different groups have been identified – carbonate and clastic rock. More than 90% of the carbonate rocks are limestones, rarely are dolomites found. The main clastic rocks are flysch, glacial deposits and recent screes. Other clastic rocks found here are the limestone breccias and conglomerates, though these are made up of fragments and cobbles of limestone and dolomite.