Mouth of the Ebro River, Spain
The Ebro is Spain’s most voluminous river. It is visible as a very curvy line towards the center of the image. The western part appears light green, whereas appears almost black.
The source of the Ebro is in Fontibre (Cantabria). It flows through cities such as Miranda de Ebro, Logroño, Zaragoza, Flix, Tortosa, and Amposta before discharging in a delta on the Mediterranean Sea in the province of Tarragona, visible on the right.
The Ebro delta is one of the largest wetland areas (320 km²) in the western Mediterranean region. It has grown rapidly—the historical rate of growth of the delta is demonstrated by the town of Amposta.
This town was a seaport in the 4th Century, and is now located well inland from the current Ebro river mouth. It can be observed here as a tan spot between the mainland and the delta.
The rounded form of the delta attests to the balance between sediment deposition by the Ebro and removal of this material by wave erosion. Some such sediments, as well as an algal bloom, can be seen near the shores of the delta.
The modern delta is in intensive agricultural use for rice, fruit, and vegetables, as evidenced by its rich green color in comparison with the brown terrain of the mainland.
The Ebro delta also hosts numerous beaches, marshes, and salt pans that provide habitat for over 300 species of birds. A large part of the delta was designated as Ebro Delta Natural Park in 1983.
A network of canals and irrigation ditches constructed by both agricultural and conservation groups are helping to maintain the ecologic and economic resources of the Ebro Delta.