The information of the territory provided by the laser technology from an airplane can be combined with data collected in mountain lakes with an inflatable boat and a small echo sounder to obtain three-dimensional maps. The system has been successfully tested by two geologists at the Truchillas glacial lake in Spain.
Several coastal cities of the USA and China are in danger due to sea-level rise that will take place if adaptation measures against climate change are not taken. A study led by the Basque Center for Climate Change on the 120 largest cities in the world warns of the fate that will run large cities such as New Orleans, Canton, Shanghai, Boston and New York.
The Puerta de Alcalá, the Prado Museum and the monastery of El Escorial are some of the monuments built with berroqueña stone, the traditional name of the high-quality Madrid granites which are also used in airports, for example Athens, and modern shopping centres around the world such as China. As with renowned wines and cheeses Spanish geologists now propose to the International Union of Geological Sciences that these granites should become part of the list of natural stones with designation of origin because of their cultural and economic importance.
The volcanic rock found in the south of León experienced a rotation of almost 60º 300 million years ago, an example of what could have occurred across the entire Iberian Peninsula when, in that moment, it was still being formed. This fact is demonstrated by the magnetic signals of its minerals, currently being analysed by researchers from the universities of Salamanca and Utrecht (The Netherlands). This discovery improves our understanding of a now-disappeared mountain range that stood over what is now north-western Spain, France, and the southern United Kingdom.
The ‘sailing’ stones of Death Valley in California are famous for apparently moving by themselves, with the phenomenon not being exclusive to this North American desert but also occurring in Spain, in Altillo Chica salt pond from La Mancha. Researchers from the Complutense University in Madrid have observed that wind from winter storms generates currents that can push the stones over a surface colonized by microbes. Then once the water has evaporated, the mysterious trail is left on the dry bottom of the pond.
The great tsunami that devastated Cádiz after the earthquake in Lisbon in 1755 is the most recent, but not the only one. New sedimentary deposits found on Barbate beach in Cádiz show that a major tsunami occurred 4,000 years ago, and adds to another seven that have occurred during the last 7,000 years. This reduces the recurrence of these events on the Andalusian coast to every one thousand years. According to the study, the deposits resemble the debris from the Japanese tsunami on March 11, 2011.
As of yesterday the entire Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands are in the midst of the first significant cold snap for three winters. However, intense snowfalls, like the one affecting the whole of the north of the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands are not as common in the rest of Spain. A team of researchers has analysed the extreme snow that fell in March 2011 in the province of Madrid in the hope that the results will allow us to understand and forecast similar episodes in the future.
Pieces of sediment from the Cretaceous period encased in lava floated to the surface with the underwater eruption of El Hierro in 2011, bringing scientists valuable data on the islands’ ocean floor. The analysis of the materials matches the origin of the Canary Islands archipelago to the model of how Hawaii was formed and confirms that the oldest islands are found to the east and the youngest to the west.
A new database developed by the University of Cantabria provides data on sea level variation due to atmospheric changes in the south of Europe between 1948 and 2009. Over the last two decades sea levels have increased in the Mediterranean basin.
The first meteorological measurements were taken in the Iberian Peninsula in 1724, which coincides with the year in which Portugal suffered one of the worst storms ever. Later, in 1816, Spain felt the effects of the eruption of the Mount Tambora volcano and almost one thousand years before, in 898, a drought in Al-Andalus was so severe that communities even resorted to cannibalism. These are facts recovered from old documents by researchers at the University of Extremadura.