Narcea Valley in Spain

December 30, 2003


Provided by: Gabriel Gutierrez-Alonso, Universidad de Salamanca (Spain)
Summary authors & editors: Gabriel Gutierrez-Alonso

The above photo shows the Narcea Valley, located in the Asturias region of northern Spain. The beds in the picture are Ordovician (approximately 470 million years old) and consist of quartz-rich sandstones that were deposited horizontally in a shallow marine platform around an ancient continent called Gondwana. Because of the collision of Gondwana with another continent, known as Laurentia, during the Variscan Alleghenian orogenesis, these formerly flat beds were folded into the syncline that can be seen on the picture. Note that the beds on the right (east) are inclined towards the left while the beds on the left (west) are inclined towards the right.

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