Geology of the Park: Volcanism in Cabo de Gata

Volcanic landscape in Cabo de Gata



Globally, the Cabo de Gata park is famous by geologists around the world because the way that volcanology has manifested itself in this land, finding very different forms of rock formations. Wherever we look, within the park, there are traces of volcanic activity, erosion and sedimentation. Volcanism has in Cabo de Gata his most important manifestation in Spain..


The formation of the park is dated about 12 million years ago. The Sierra de Cabo de Gata, about 45 by 10 km long of mountain chain, is only a small part of a much more developed volcanic area, which now appears almost submerged in its totality, between Spain and the North of Africa, appearing only, in the island of Alborán. The area of Cabo de Gata constitutes one of the most extensive volcanic regions of Spain and the most extensive of those formed during the Tertiary era, being the best representative emerged of this volcanic zone.


Geological landscape in Cabo GataThe natural park is an example of magmatism in a coastal marine environment. The most frequent in this area is the formation of lava domes. These are the protuberances formed by the accumulation, around the eruptive mouth, viscous lava and inability to flow.


Following formations are especially interesting:

  • Volcanic crater, the most visible example is the Rodalquilar Valley.
  • Dunes Oolitic fossils, the greatest example in Los Escullos, also visible on the beach of Genoveses and in El Playazo.
  • Fossilized tongues of lava, a wonderful example on the beach of Mónsul.
  • Volcanic domes as Mesa Roldán.
  • Volcanic chimneys, the most beautiful examples are the reef of the Sirens.
  • And mountains formed entirely by volcanic material like the Cerro Negro in the village of Las Negras.

To know more about the volcanic origin of these lands you can visit the exhibitions in the House of the Volcanoes in Rodalquilar or the Interpretation Center of the Nature Las Amoladeras.


Tongues of Lava in Mónsul beach






Images and texts from under license:Licencia de Creative Commons

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