Landscapes - Deserts of Andalucia

Deserts of Almeria and the mountains of Guadix, Granada. © Michelle Chaplow
Deserts of Almeria and the mountains of Guadix, Granada.

Deserts of Andalucia

Virtually all of Andalucía's rivers are dammed at least once along their course, providing the region with vital water supplies, as well as hydro-electric power; plus large reservoirs. The exception is the very dry Almería province, which contains extensive semi-desert areas of bare, eroded terrain which bears a close enough resemblance to the Arizona landscape to have been used as the location for Western films.

Desertification, caused in part by loss of vegetation due to drought, resulting in soil deterioration, is a big problem in Andalucia, with almost half the land area of Malaga province under threat, for example. Erosion comes from the action of rainwater against the dry earth, washing it away during heavy winter storms, and from the lack of vegetation to bind the surface together. Solutions to this extensive problem are being sought, with many tree-planting schemes across the region. Some also favour the building of more reservoirs to provide improved control of water flow.



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