We're standing on the railroad embankment east of Stans-bei-Schwaz, a small town between Schwaz and Jenbach. We're looking southeast across the Inn floodplain at the metamorphic Alps, the Alps south of the Inn Valley.|
The Alps were generated about 50 millin years ago as Africa and Mediterranean lands like Italy pushed northward against Europe and closed the Tethys Seaway. Sedimentary rocks near the earth surface were pushed up and northward to make the Calcareous Alps north of the Inn Valley. Rocks from deeper in the earth were pushed up south of the Inn. Because they had been deeper and thus subjected to greater temperature and pressure, they had undergone metamorphism - their mineralogy and texture had been changed by the deep conditions to which they subjected before being pushed up to their present position. Today they make the "metamorphic Alps" south of the Inn, a less colloquial expression than the terms "Kalkalpen" or "Calcareous Alps" used quite commonly for the Alps north of the Inn.
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