The Carnic ridge is an area of enormous geological value: the only rocks that represent in Italy the almost complete Palaeozoic succession emerge along the border between Italy and Austria. Besides, some of the area's fossil sites are among the most important in the world (Coglians massif, Piani di Lanza / Straniger Alm, Pramollo / Naßfeld, Preone, Laas).

The Carnic Alps contain, among others, the sedimentary - and fossiliferous - most ancient rocks of the entire Alpine area (and of the whole Italian peninsula). They are uncommon rocks, most often rich in macrofossils. There is another important aspect in the geological history of the Carnic Alps: in a little over 300 million years their rocks have undergone twice the compressions connected to an orogeny.