Geopark Villuercas-Ibores-La Jara. Geological values and geo-sites
It is the geology and the geomorphology that deeply marks the identity of the Villuercas-lbores-La Jara region, known in the scientific world by the singularity of its apalachiense relief, the oldest rocks on earth. The geological diversity of this park is one of the most cherished values, with natural formations that show the evolution of the landscape from almost the first moments in time. In the higher elevations are the earliest formations, formed by the rising of the bottom of the sea . The fossils found tell of maritime life of millions of years ago. The area is very rich in elements of geological interest like the rañas, the succession of mountains and parallel valleys, in a NorthEast-SouthWest direction opposite to the general West-East direction in Extremadura.
Very special are the 'Casqueros', stone rivers coming down the gullies near or around the top. With in many cases no rock above them. Their dimensions are spectacular, visible from miles away, marking the the valleys with gray blankets on the slopes.
On lower altitude are the slate mountains. Their summits are generally lower and softer. They present a sharp contrast to the cliffs and sharp ridges. Mainly covered by dark brown oak and passing the 600-700 meters altitude are the cork oaks and chestnut tree forests. The stratums show the deposit of soil, century after century. Temperature and pressure compacted this soil and converted it in layers of slate, which can be very hard or that frail it crumbles in your hands.
Some interesting Geo-sites are:
Anticline of the Almonte River
Pass and down-warping of Almonte (Cabañas del Castillo)
Syncline of Santa Lucia
Syncline of Rio Viejas
De la Peña Narrow Pass (Alía)
Fold of Ordovician quartzite
Narrow Pass of the Ruecas River
Kettles in Castañar de Ibor
Lime Furnaces (La Calera)
Cave of Castañar de Ibor