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The dunes are formed along the sandy coasts by the combined action of the wind and of the vegetation. They are sandy bodies with an extended form positioned parallel to the coast line. Most of these are regarded as fossils, that is, due to phenomena which ended long ago. For this reason, the fossil dunes are like "historical snapshots" necessary in order to understand the evolution of the Delta. They truly represent the ancient border between land and sea before the Po river formed the existing deltaic lands, carrying detritus to the mouth and in this way, moving further along the coast line. Eight coastal submerged sandbanks have been identified representing eight historical periods.

The oldest one (in the western region) of the pre-Etruscan period (about 3000 years ago) discovered by Loreo and Ariano nel Polesine in the areas called Tombe and Tombine. The most recent dune sandbank (later than 1600 BC.) extends to Fossone (S. Anna) - Caleri almost to Po di Levante with a maximum height of 7mt on sea level. The arboreal vegetation is varied: from the Stone Pine and Cluster Pine to the Holm-oak, from the Bay-oak to the Pubescent-oak.

The dune relicts of Delta Po can be easily recognized near the localities of Loreo, Rosolina, Porto Viro (Donada), Taglio di Po and Ariano nel Polesine; they are of great importance for their geomorphologic and historical aspects as well as for their scenic and ecological ones.

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