Almeria geographical depressions
One of the most impressive landscape in Almeria is the so-called Almeria geographical depressions.
Almeria, Tabernas and Sorbas basins, just with Nijar, Vera, Almanzora and Pulpi were indeed in past ages marine basins, refilled by sediments provided by the erosion of the surrounding just-emerged lands while the Mediterranean Sea advanced slowly from the Cabo de Gata archipelago and the young mountains nearby. These basins are understood to be aproximately between 15 and 8 million years old and they were covered by sea water till recently (around 2 million years or perhaps less time).
Anyway the land-raising that bordered the entrances of this ancient sea didn´t happen all at the same time. The first places to be raised were Sierra Nevada and Filabres Range of Mountains (15 million years ago), while Cabo de Gata volcanic activity was just happening not far away. On these times the coastline of the actual Almeria was placed on the line that is today occupied by the villages of Sorbas and Tabernas.
8 millions of years later there were arised the Mountains of Gador and Alhamilla, nearby to the actual coastline.
Did you know that nearly all the words that begin with al in spanish come from the arab language, meaning the english article the ???. For example Al-hamilla (the hammams, the baths) or Alcazaba (the kasba, the fortress)… and so on in a very long list.
The last mountains to be raised up were the so-called Sierra de Cabrera (Cabrera range of mountains), that is by the way the youngest mountains chain on the iberian peninsula; this happened approximately 5,5 millions of years ago.
As we can see, Almeria is an exceptional place for studying the history of our Planet in which we live, and where can be found sedimentary,volcanic and metamorphic rocks altogether, nude and with no vegatation, and under a dry and sunny weather along nearly 12 months in the year. Becase of this Almeria has been called, among other names, the open laboratory of Europe.
Almeria, this incredible arid area at south Europe is not anyway a desert, and water is abundant in its territory, but water is a sensitive case here… because it flows underneath the ground, at the water table (aquifer), and many times it is fossil water that has been stored along thousands of years, and is not charged back so quickly as it is used for agricultural and tourist purposes.
Because of this, the natural geography of these areas offers us some unique places where water come up to the surface building by itself amazing natural oasis … genuine ecosystems that are the true responsible of life happening here. The mountains of Alhamilla and Gador are being raised up so fast as 2 cm every 100 years, attending to scientific research.
Filabres and Sierra Nevada are called the Iberian peninsula roof, beause they are the highest peaks in it, with exception of those in the north border at the Pyrenees.
More resons for visiting Almeria and its geographical depressions??