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La costa de Menorca. Rocas en el Norte, pinos en el Sur

¿Sabes por qué las playas del norte de Menorca son diferentes a las del sur?

 

El paisaje de Menorca es sorprendentemente cambiante, te descubrimos por qué.

Normalmente las zonas norte de cualquier parte del mundo son mucho más verdes que las sur porque llueve más, pero el paisaje de Menorca no varía porque llueva más en un lado que en otro. De la punta Este a la Oeste son 57 kilómetros, 44 kilómetros de carretera general y 19 kilómetros de Norte a Sur, más o menos. Es cierto que casi 20 kilómetros dan para que la lluvia sea el principal factor que explique la diferencia en el paisaje, pero Menorca es diferente hasta en eso.

Los causas que explican la diversidad del paisaje en una isla de 700 kilómetros cuadrados son diversas, pero la razón principal se debe al tipo de piedra, la roca del norte es diferente a la del sur. Para entenderlo rápidamente resumimos los más de 400 millones de años que sirvieron para crear esta fascinante isla. Primero de todo es muy importante saber que las Islas Baleares no son de origen volcánico, a excepción de algún islote de origen sub volcánico, pero cuidado que esto no nos confunda. Las Islas Baleares son el resultado de cientos de millones de años de cementación de sedimentos y movimientos tectónicos. Menorca no siempre ha tenido la forma que tiene ahora y tampoco estaba donde está ahora, en medio del mediterráneo occidental. Hace 400 millones de años, los primeros materiales que formaron la isla, estaban en el hemisferio sur del globo y a gran profundidad debajo del mar.

Si os fijais en el color de las rocas de la isla, veréis que en el Norte, Noreste, podemos reconocer tres colores diferentes, negro, rojo y gris, y en el Sur, Oeste y Noroeste, las rocas son de color blanco. Diferentes colores que corresponden a diferentes periodos geológicos. La diferencia entre colores se debe a que cada periodo en el que se acumularon los materiales que componen hoy la isla o bien procede de lugares diferentes, o bien el proceso de sedimentación se produjo a diferentes niveles sobre y bajo el nivel del mar. Por ejemplo, los materiales que forman la Menorca roja, procedieron del transporte en superficie de materiales debido a la acción de la lluvia de la isla de entonces, lo que hoy llamamos la Menorca oscura. Estos materiales, transportados, depositados en los márgenes de los ríos y cementados, obtuvieron ese color rojizo por su exposición con el oxígeno durante más de 20.000 millones de años, son materiales oxidados, ricos en óxido de hierro.

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Las rocas oscuras, rojas y grises son los materiales más antiguos, duros e impermeables. La roca blanca, es calcárea, porosa y blanda, y se conoce como marés. Es la parte joven de la isla y se caracteriza por su composición. El proceso de sedimentación de la Menorca blanca duró aproximadamente 10 millones de años. Durante todo ese tiempo iban sedimentando los aportes de los materiales procedentes de la isla de aquel entonces (la Menorca oscura, roja y gris). A estos aportes hay que añadirle los restos de microorganismos de la extensa vida marina que habitaba entre la isla de entonces y el gran arrecife de coral ubicado justo debajo del mar, enfrente de la costa Sur. microorganismos que al morir se iban depositado y cementando con el paso de miles de años, capa tras capa, creando la Menorca blanca. Es entonces, hace 5 millones de años, cuando Menorca quedó emergida definitivamente, la acción de lluvia y el curso de los ríos en busca del mar moldearon los valles y barrancos. Formas que no tiene el norte, porque la roca del norte es dura, por lo tanto el sur es más fácil de moldear, es más escarpado.

A partir de ahí se dan una serie de condiciones que suman a la diversidad paisajística de la isla. Por ejemplo, en los barrancos del sur hay agua, torrentes. Un torrente es la versión pequeña de un río, no tienen más de 2 kilómetros de longitud, por tanto si hay agua, hay más vegetación y la vegetación es de hojas anchas, frondosa. Además, estos valles están protegidos del famoso viento de tramontana que sopla sobretodo en invierno, no sólo por la fuerza de las rachas de viento, sino también por la sal que transporta el viento procedente del mar, lo que impide que la vegetación crezca. Lo contrario ocurre en el lado norte. Hay vegetación, sí, pero es más bien arbustiva quitando de algún acebuche moldeado dirección Norte-Sur.

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Pues bien, el tipo de roca no solo explica la forma y la cantidad de vegetación de los dos lados de la isla, también explica que las playas del norte sean diferentes a las del sur. Las playas sureñas son de revista, de arena blanca, de pinares verde intenso y aguas azul turquesa, el juego de colores de los tres elementos hace que todavía se vean más vivos cada uno de los colores, se retroalimentan entre sí. Esta estampa no la tenemos en el norte. La mayoría de las playas del norte son desérticas, sin apenas vegetación (a excepción de algunas playas) y el agua se ve más oscura. Esto no significa que el agua del norte no tenga la misma calidad que el mar del sur, o que esté turbia, el color oscuro se debe al color de las rocas del fondo marino, diferentes tonalidades en las rocas de las que ya sabemos la causa. La foto del norte es diferente a la del sur, pero igual de espectacular. El norte es árido, rocoso, marciano. Tiene su propio encanto. Por eso normalmente se elige ir al norte o al sur, ya no solo por la dirección del viento, sino por las ganas que se tengan de disfrutar de un paisaje u otro.

El paisaje de la isla no sólo cambia de Norte a Sur, también se transforma a lo largo del año. Es alucinante como varían los colores de la isla entre las estaciones del año. Del verde de los prados en pleno inverno, desde las primeras lluvias de octubre, el color de las flores de primavera al paisaje árido de los pastos en verano, un contraste muy característico. Por eso da gusto disfrutar Menorca y del paisaje mediterráneo no solo en verano.

En cada excursión de JSM recorremos el Sur, Norte y centro de la isla para descubrir y entender la diversidad de su paisaje. Disfrutar del patrimonio natural es una de nuestras fortalezas.

 

Andere artikelen Jeep Safari Menorca

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