The Sinis peninsula. Morphology and geology of the area
The Sinis is a peninsula in central-western Sardinia, extending between the Bay of Is Arenas to the north and the Gulf of Oristano to the south.
In the sea to the west of the peninsula are the island of Mal di Ventre and the Catalano rock. The peninsula has a length of some 19 km in the north-south direction from Capo Mannu to Capo San Marco, and a width between 5 and 8 km in the west-east direction, from the Sea of Sardinia to the Cabras wetland. Geologically speaking, the Sinis is formed of calcareous and volcanic rock. It is partly separated from the rest of the island by the Cabras wetland.
Geologically speaking, the Sinis is formed of calcareous and volcanic rock. It is partly separated from the rest of the island by the Cabras wetland.
As to landforms, the Sinis is composed of two areas: one level, mostly in the eastern and northern portion, with a number of marshes and wetlands; the other is a low plateau, in the central-southern portion, reaching a maximum elevation of about 90 m above sea level, with an average of about 60 meters.
There are a few isolated hills: the promontory of Capo San Marco, on which the ancient city of Tharros was built; Monte Trigu; and the area round Capo Mannu, with basalt terrain.
The coast is rocky in the southern portion round San Giovanni di Sinis. To the north it becomes firstly sandy and is then marked by high cliffs, alternating with sandy beaches as far as Capo Mannu. Lastly, to the north we find the large desert of Is Arenas.
The Sinis peninsula is a fertile, favourably situated stretch of land, with ancient salt pans (Sa Salina Manna), and marshes suitable for hunting and fishing, with small bays and a gulf which can provide a haven for vessels.
The area is bordered by the Montiferru district, rich in minerals, and the Tirso river, which provided an easy route for communication and penetration into the interior of the Island. Between the low rounded hills bordering the coast and the large Cabras wetland, there is a level area through which runs an ancient route leading from the gulf towards the north.
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