Economic and environmental geology
Rosario Lunar, Teresa Moreno, Manuel Lombardero, Manuel Regueiro, Fernando LóPez-vera, Wenceslao Martínez Del Olmo, Juan M. Mallo García, José A. Saenz De Santa Maria, Félix García-Palomero, Pablo Higueras, Lorena Ortega, Ramón Capote, 2002. "Economic and environmental geology", The Geology of Spain, W. Gibbons, Teresa Moreno
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Spain has a great variety of metallic and industrial rock and mineral deposits, as well as important energy and water resources. Within the European Union it has a pre-eminent position, being the country with the highest level of production of raw materials for its own use (Table 19.1). Spain is a first-rank producer of several non-metallic minerals such as celestite, sodium sulphate, magnesite, potassium and sepiolite, and ornamental rocks such as granite and marble. There are huge quarrying operations currently active in gypsum, clays, slate and aggregate. Spanish ores include examples of world-class deposits such as Almadén, by far the largest mercury deposit in the world, and the Iberian Pyritic Belt with its giant and supergiant massive sulphide deposits that include the world’s largest at Rio Tinto. Exploration programmes developed in the 1990s have resulted in the discovery of new deposits, both in already active mining districts (e.g. Migollas, Aguas Teñidas, Las Cruces and Los Frailes in the Pyritic Belt, and new mercury reserves in Almadén) and in new areas (e.g. El Valle-Carl és for gold, Aguablanca for nickel). However, despite the large reserves of metallic minerals that exist in the country, mining is only currently active for copper, mercury, gold and zinc (Table 19.2). One legacy of the long mineral exploitation history in Spain results from the fact that, before the 1980s, environmental damage was considered to be an inevitable consequence of the extractive Spanish mining industry. This has produced many environmental problems associated with
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This book provides the first comprehensive account in English of the geology of mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary islands. It has been written by 159 research-active, mostly Spanish authors working together in teams from over 20 universities and other centres of research excellence. The 19 chapters begin with an overview of Spanish geology prepared by the editors, followed by a detailed examination of Iberian Precambrian and Palaeozoic rocks in Spain, Variscan magmatism and tectonics, and the Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary record and fossil record. Subsequent chapters deal with the Alpine orogeny in the Pyrenees, Betics and other mountain ranges of Spain and the Balearic Islands, and with Cenozoic magmatism, including the classic hot-spot-related volcanism of the Canary Islands. The final chapter focuses on economic and environmental geology, emphasizing metallic deposits and industrial minerals, hydrocarbon energy resources, water supply, and modern seismic hazard. Finally a bibliography of around 4000 references provides a uniquely valuable information source. Encompassing subjects as diverse as the origin of Spanish granites, the palaeogeographic and tectonometamorphic history of the Iberian plate, human evolution in the SW Mediterranean, and modern volcanism and earthquake activity, The Geology of Spain is a key reference work suitable not only for libraries across the world, but of interest to all researchers, teachers and students of SW European geology.