Unique rock formation is established in a flash

SPANISH scientists have discovered a unique rock formation in a rugged region to the north of Gran Canaria, close to an archaeological dig.

Calcite sediment had been deposited in a series of pools and waterfalls in the Calabozo gulley, which have since dried up. But they would have been reminiscent of the white terraces in Pamukkale, Turkey, or the Iberian Peninsula’s Ruidera lakes in their day.

Pamukkale and Ruidera were formed over hundreds of thousands of years, yet the Calabozo formation took fewer than three decades.

On these volcanic islands, including Tenerife, the subterranean water is rich in bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium, sodium, silicon and carbon dioxide.

And towards the end of the last century, the Canarian plantations were irrigated with water from wells and tunnels.

Before a modern irrigation system was installed, water was extracted from high, hilly ground, and ran downwards,

leaving a trail of calcite sediment and other minerals in its wake.

It was this geological process, accelerated by the irrigation system, which produced the ultra-rapid formation in Calabozo, which is 20 metres high and the same measurement across.

The research team, comprising four geologists from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), the Institute of Geoscience (UCM-CSIC) and Las Palmas University, have been studying the phenomenon for seven years.

They have just published an article on their work in the scientific journal Sedimentology, which appears on the front cover of the latest edition.

The scientists believe that the Calabozo formation was completed between the 1950s and the 1980s.

And, since completing their Calabozo gulley research, Alonso’s team have found other, similar sediments on Tenerife, and they believe there are yet more, awaiting discovery.


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Posted by on Jan 4 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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