Origin of Plitvice lakes

Lake gardens connected by waterfalls and embraced by mountain forests. Plitvice Lakes – a magnificent and dynamic face of nature that is constantly transforming. Although science offers an unquestionable answer to the emergence of Plitvice Lakes and travertine barriers, water in the karst always seemed almost mythical to native residents. According to legend, after a prolonged drought, the Black Queen took pity on the karst and brought heavy rain to the ground, which created the lakes.

Only the power of life can combine stone, water and forest. More beautiful than any description, more vivid than the best photo, more astonishing than any video – just coming to Plitvice Lakes can leave a full impression of the beauty on the list of the world’s most famous natural beauty names.
Plitvice Lakes are among the first to be placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. They are the oldest national park in Croatia.

Sixteen larger, named, and a considerable number of small lakes are cascaded together by waterfalls. The altitude difference between the first lake, Proscansko, and the last lake in a row, Novakovic Brod, is 134 meters. The largest amount of water is brought to the lakes by the Black and White rivers, which merge into the river Matica whose waters flow into Lake Proscan. The lakes are divided into the Upper located on the dolomite base, and the Lower cut in the limestone canyon. The upper lakes consist of 12 lakes, among which the two largest lakes of the system, Kozjak and Proscansko, the Lower Lakes account for only a small part of the lake surface and are represented by four lakes.

How did such beauty come about, what is the secret of nature in this unique geological and hydrological area in this world?

Science reveals that bacteria, algae and moss are responsible for the emergence. Climatic conditions and places of intense aeration of water create favorable conditions for the life of these organisms. If the incoming water carries enough dissolved calcium carbonate, which is not a rare occurrence in karst areas, such calcium carbonate is retained and anchored by the algae, bacteria and moss on the surface of already traverted barriers and vegetation in the lakes. That is why the Plitvice Lakes were created in this specific physicochemical and biodynamic process. The process is constant, the lakes are constantly changing, there are submerged barriers in the lakes, as well as those that will only grow and rise beyond the water surface. The tufa grows actively between one and three inches a year.

Plitvice Lakes and Waterfalls are very young creations. Some of today’s waterfalls are no more than 4,000 years old. Lakes in this form are thought to have originated 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. Also emerging in this system, as we see it today, is the important influence of climate, that is, the realization that travertine barriers grew and were active in the interglacial ages of Earth’s geological past. Tuff over 300,000 years old was also found in Plitvice Lakes, suggesting former barriers and a time when temperature was favorable for its creation.

One waterfall on the lakes is different from all the others. It is a 78 m high waterfall and the highest in Croatia, and differs in appearance and appearance. He alone does not come from the lake and does not fall into the lake. The water that flows to the waterfall originates from the Plitvice creek and collapses with its combined strength down a vertical limestone rock, while most of the waterfalls in Plitvice distribute their power in a branched fall. Under the last lake, Novakovic Brod, waterfalls Sastavci are formed. The water that collects at the foot of these waterfalls and the water that flows from the Great Waterfall gives birth to the Korana River, which continues along its course, covered by several waterfalls and passing through a canyon of limestone rocks.

Plitvice Lakes are located in the east of Lika, between Mala Kapela and Lika Plješivica. They are surrounded by forest and are not at high altitude, so they are fully integrated into the mountain landscape.

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