Southern Spanish coast and north African autonomous city, Melilla, felt a significant seismic movement last night. Spanish Geographical Institute (IGN) is reporting the occurrence of tens of small movements as well as some medium magnitude ones in the last days, with a maximum of 6.3 in Richter scale last evening. The city of Melilla has reported some damages and some minor injuries, with no fatalities at this time. It corresponds to a V intensity, with IV-V close to Algeciras in the Strait of Gibraltar, as well as IV intensity level in tens of locations in the coast and inland of Andalusia. It's too early to know all the consequences and any information update is welcomed.
Geogata shortlisted in the Luxury Travel Awards
I’m pleased to announce that GeoGata has been nominated as a potential winner in the 2016 Holiday & Tour Specialist Awards by the Luxury Travel Guide magazine. Geogata has been receiving votes over the past 12 months from individuals & companies throughout Europe, the magazine subscribers, hotel guests, travel agencies and industry experts all voting on who they feel is most deserving.
Celebrating & rewarding excellence in many areas, The Luxury Travel Guide Awards is an international awards programme in recognition of all holiday & tour options from large operators to small, independent guides, thus recognising companies regardless of size or location. In Geogata we’re proud to share this news with all our followers and will be happy to announce winning the award in next February or otherwise congratulating the final winner.
Osprey is amongst the most unknown and emblematic raptors of the Iberian geography. We're used to the glamorous Golden Eagle or Iberian Imperial Eagle, and to the spectacular size of the big scavengers, but this unusual predator lives close to us in marshes, wetlands, dams and coasts since ancient times. Recently, reintroduction and conservation programs are succeeding in recovering populations in several places. In Almería, however, the Osprey is definitely not an abundant bird and only several citations through the las decades can be found. It is in West Andalusia and the South of Portugal where most of individuals can be found in wintering period. To be mentioned is the breeding colony in North Africa, to be precise in the Alhoceima National Park Cliffs, where the largest population of the area is located. In general, this bird of prey nest and breed in the East and North of our geography, and some hundreds individuals are though to spend the winter by the Southern Iberian Peninsula, with warm climate and good feeding conditions.
Geogata has participated in a Cooperation Project
Geogata has recently participated in an International cooperation project, invited by the Andalusian Centre for Global Change Research and Monitoring (CAESCG is its Spanish acronym) at the University of Almería. It's been for our 5 years of hard work in developing sustainable activities based in nature conservation. Funded by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID), and leaded by the CAESCG and the Andalusian company EcoKimia, the project name could be translated as "Building an innovation and cooperation partnership for the management and enhancement of the potential of the Alhoceima National Park". The project consisted in identifying and proposing of actions focused on the improvement of the use of the natural heritage of the Alhoceima National Park and causing a positive impact on the quality of living of the local inhabitants.
Article about Almería in the Andalucia Bird Society
On late Summer 2015, Brenda Jones, co-editor of the magazine Birds of Andalucia, the quarterly editorial journal of the Andalucia Bird Society, asked me to write an article about Cabo de Gata and Almería to be printed in the Autumn 2015 issue of the magazine. I obviously agree and felt happy of my words being worthy of such publication. The issue is now printed and available for all ABS members, and I hope my lines could help them discover a bit more of the geography and heritage of the Cabo de Gata - Nature Park and Geopark and of all the Almería province. The article, A year in the drylands, is though as a trip through time, unveiling some interesting natural phenomena that occurs during the year, as well as some pills of the Geological History of the province using the classical comparison between a natural year and the age of the Planet Earth. Below you'll find a photograph of the printed article that I want to share with all the followers to which I highly recommend to join the Andalucia Bird Society.
Looking for sustainable development in remote regions
In the early summer 2015 we're receiving the visit of a group of pre-university students from a remote region of Scotland. Since almost one year ago we, at geoGata, in collaboration with our loyal partners in Almería, are designing the contents and experiences that will build up the first international volunteering field camp in nature conservation organised by us. We hold the role of coordination while our friends from the SERBAL Society for the Study and Recovery of the Almería Biodiversity and the Andalusian Centre dealing with Global Change (CAESCG) have helped us so much in giving birth the project. Also, from the Research Group in Water Resources and Environmental Geology of the University of Almería, Prof. J. María Calaforra will show us the particularities and hazards that affect the Sorbas Gypsum Karst in central Almería, as well as it's associated ecosystems.
When working on a new product design related to the interpretation of Natural Heritage, we use to think on wildlife. Sometimes we link wildlife and others themes like Cultural Heritage or humanscape, but less often we let those themes be the leitmotiv of the tour. Astronomy, like geology, is one of those themes that we use to consider a resource more than a product, but we should realize that its interest is frequently higher than we think. First, because they are holistic resources, in a sense that everything is related with them. But second, including Astronomy, they are always there waiting for the guide with the ability to vertebrate a Natural Heritage Tour based on the inert side of the environment.
Little or nothing is known by the profane public about the hydrothermalism. When I ask geoGata's clients in our geology tours about this term, that refers to a phenomenon whose effects are present throughout the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata, spas becomes quickly the theme of the chat. Whithout any doubt, natural spas are related to hydrothermal processes, but not much more is usually known. Health or recreational use are based on certain chemical and physical propertiesthat make those waters make attractive in one way or another for humans, as well as the "health of mind" that accompanies water treatments. Another phenomenon related to hydrothermal circulation are the well known and evocative geysers and fumaroles, which are associated with hydrothermal processes of volcanic origin.
In my long experience as a geologist guiding family and friends, and in that I accumulated since geoGata exists as a company, one question is the most asked by all people: Where are the volcanoes? Is that mountain volcano? And rather than vanal, it is, if the answer is focused properly, the starting point of a wonderful adventure of observation of nature, a trip in time to a submerged landscape, full of smoking chimneys, coral reefs in a tropical sea, volcanic eruptions and explosions, and creatures sometimes known and sometimes surprising.
These last days, in the month of February 2013, the approach to the Earth of the asteroid 2012da14, of significant size, has caused admiration and interest in the scientific community and some concern in a society, incidentally, quite secular in science. In contrast we must recognize that the Spanish amateur astronomers community is among the most productive in the world, and the result of this is that mentioned celestial body was discovered in an observatory located in Spain, specifically north of the province Granada (La Puebla de Don Fadrique). Apocalyptic fever began unexpectedly a few hours earlier, with the fall of a meteorite in Russia, which caused extensive damage to a large geographical area of the Urals, and what is worse, hundreds injured due to the blast and breakage of crystals.
As you may know, the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata - Nijar is a protected area in the province of Almeria. Not forgetting the natural wealth and heritage, which deserves that and further distinctions, today we will review the mining history of the province that both from its importance and its antiquity, probably have little parallel in the Iberian Peninsula. The dawn of the mining industry in Almería are lost in the mists of time. So much so, that many legends tell of hidden treasures, such as the Cueva de la Sabina, in Dalías, Sierra de Gador, in the mine "of the Phoenicians", and some placed on this earth the King Solomon and relate an incredible discovery made by himself, a vast and mysterious treasure hidden in the depths of this mountains.
The world of volcanoes is definitely exciting. But did you know that the place with the most active volcanism is in another world? The third largest satellite of Jupiter, Io, slightly larger than the Moon, has about 400 active volcanoes. Most surprising is that the origin of this volcanism is anything but conventional. Io orbits Jupiter closer than the other three large moons, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto - the three being called Galilean in honor of its discoverer. The intense volcanic activity is due to the enormous gravitational pull of Jupiter, and also to the interaction with Europa and Ganymede. This is, in effect, "tidal forces" instead of causing low tides and high tides, resulting in tremendous friction in the inner layers of the satellite, which is heated causing volcanic eruptions.
One of the most interesting geographical features in the eastern Almería is the Níjar serrata. It is a low relief dividing the "Campo de Níjar" two. The first thing that is striking to observe is that its course is almost straight. Observed with some detail, we shall see that it presents sharp lithological changes, ie, the type of rock found can change in just a few steps from volcanic to sedimentary. Another feature that can be found, if we pay attention, is that the small and ephemeral streams that start from the Serrata and make their way to the plain are displaced laterally, longitudinally to the axis of the sierra, as if a ditch would have been built at the foot of it to carry water and sediments tens of meters ahead or behind. Finally, if we eventually move into one of those courses and touch the rocks, sooner or later we will find a very striking, laminated rock, that appear to have been polished to reflect light like a mirror.
In previous issues we have stated that in the world (and in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park) there are several types of volcanism and volcanic edifices. Moreover, being rigorous it could be said that each volcano represents a different volcanic type. We can group them according to their morphological similarities, to the predominant mechanisms of eruption, or depending on the lithology of the rocks to which they give rise. One of the most characteristic type is formed by volcanic calderas. The formation of a caldera is the result of the most energetic and explosive volcanic process. Strictly, they aren’t generated by an eruption itself, but as a result of the gravitational collapse of a pre-existing volcanic edifice, due to the partial or full emptying of the underlying magma chamber.
Last Sunday we had the opportunity of performing one of our most original (and loved) ideas. More than one year ago, during a trekking weekend with a group coming from Valencia (East Spain), I offer them to make a night walk with binoculars and try to learn a bit about stars, planets, moons and galaxies. We succeeded in making all of them enjoy our Solar System and the relative movements of its celestial objects. We performed a brief role play, a planetary theatre, with the help of some torches, a tablet pc and a lot of imagination and readiness from them. That was only a test but the result was that a lot of people laughed for all the night while changing a good amount of mistaken pre-concepts about Astronomy.
Apasionado de la ciencia, la fotografía y los viajes. Geólogo de formación y guía de naturaleza por vocación.