Skip to main content

Earth Pyramids: Precarious Structures Surviving Recurrent Perturbations

  • 1207 Accesses


Earth pyramids are tall tapered spires, slender or stocky, made of rock or soil material. This type of features have been marginally studied. Even if they are often included in parks and geosites. We start from this lack of studies to analyse the geometrical and physical-mechanical characteristics considering some case studies in northern Italy. Because of their geometrical characteristics these elements are intrinsically weak and can be used as indicators of past external perturbations. We performed laboratory characterization and numerical modelling to analyse the involved actions, the stability and the reaction to dynamic perturbations.


  • Earth pyramids
  • Hoodos
  • Characterization
  • Stability
  • Modeling
  • Vibrations

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-09408-3_7
  • Chapter length: 5 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   219.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-09408-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   299.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 7.1
Fig. 7.2
Fig. 7.3
Fig. 7.4
Fig. 7.5
Fig. 7.6
Fig. 7.7


  • Gortani M (1906) Le piramidi di erosione ed i terreni glaciali di Fielis in Carnia. Mondo Sotterraneo, a. II, n. 5–6, pp 75–81, tav. 1, 1 cartina, Udine

    Google Scholar 

  • Haghshenas E, Bard PY, Theodulidis N (2008) SESAME WP04 team empirical evaluation of microtremor H/V spectral ratio. Bull Earthq Eng 6(1):75–108

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Klebelsberg RV (1927) Beitrage zur Geologie der Sudtiroler Dolomiten. I. Ruckzugstande der Eiszeitgletscher in den Dolomitentalern. Zeits. Der Dt. Geol. Ges, Bd. 79, n. 3, pp 280–337

    Google Scholar 

  • Muller W (1932) Die Entsiehung der Erdpyramiden. Dolomiten, 18 Juli 1932, Bolzano

    Google Scholar 

  • Schaffer FX (1932) Uber die Erdpyramiden am Ritten bei Bozen. Verhandlungen d. Geol. Bundesanstalt, n. 11–12, pp 163–165, Vienna

    Google Scholar 

  • Scheidegger (1958) A physical theory of the formation of hoodoos. Pure appl Geophys 41(1):101–106

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Perna G (1958) Le piramidi di terra di Segonzano e del Renon. Natura Alpina, a. IX, n.1, pp 3–7, fig 4, tav.1, Trento

    Google Scholar 

  • Nakamura Y (1989) A method for dynamic characteristics estimation of subsurface using microtremor on the ground surface. Q Rep RTRI 30(1):25–33

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Giovanni B. Crosta .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this paper

Cite this paper

Crosta, G.B., Castellanza, R., de Franco, R., Villa, A., Frigerio, G., Caielli, G. (2015). Earth Pyramids: Precarious Structures Surviving Recurrent Perturbations. In: Lollino, G., Giordan, D., Marunteanu, C., Christaras, B., Yoshinori, I., Margottini, C. (eds) Engineering Geology for Society and Territory - Volume 8. Springer, Cham.

Download citation