Seeing the Woods

A blog by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

Snapshot: Distant Transformations

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by Maya Schmitt and Katrin Kleemann

1

Geological fieldwork in southeast Spain. Photograph: Anke Friedrich.

Close to Las Negras, southeast Spain, is a site of historical and geological significance. Our exploration through an old “Seifenlagerstätte” (placer deposit) stretch had us intrigued by its thousands of garnet minerals. These were spread out, attached or enclosed in rock showing different states of geology. For instance, enclosed metamorphic rock is older than the rock surrounding it—one of the basic principles of geology. While our eyes were focused on the ground at first, hiking back presented us with a different sight. The volcanic soil in the Almería province is extremely rich in minerals, and therefore presents an ideal area for fruit and vegetable plantations. Our photograph illustrates this perfectly; the land we are standing on, as well as the hill panaroma in the background, are of volcanic origin. A past volcanic erruption in addition to current land use visibly transforms the landscape of the region.

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