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Mountains of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, Spain

36.9N 1.8W

November 23rd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Spain - November 12th, 2009

Spain - November 12th, 2009

Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park is a nature reserve in southeastern Spain, near the city of Almería. The city is visible on the coast on the left side of this orthorectified image, while the park runs northeastward along part of the coastline starting at the bottom of the image.

It is the largest terrestrial-maritime reserve in the European Western Mediterranean Sea, covering 460 km² including the town of Carboneras, the mountain range of Sierra de Cabo de Gata, and 120 km² of the sea as a part of a marine reserve.

It is of volcanic origin and is centred around the Cabo de Gata headland. Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park is characterised by volcanic rock formations – lava flows, volcanic domes, volcanic calderas.

Between the village of San Miguel and the Cabo de Gata Point are salt flats (Las Salinas de Cabo de Gata) separated from the sea by a 400 m (0.24 mi) sand bar. The salt flats are a Ramsar site.

The area is semi-arid to the extent of being the driest location in Europe. The average temperature is 18 °C and it has the lowest rainfall in the Iberian peninsula and all of Europe, its average precipitation being a mere 120 to 180 mm (4.72 to 7.09 in) annually.

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