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Volume 27 (1) - 2004


Present geomorphological characteristics of Alboran Islet and Surroundings, Spain: a diagnosis

Pages 3-19


Alboran Islet is a contemporary geomorphological structure, located in the plate boundary zone of Africa and Eurasia, and experiences the effects of active exogenous abrasive-denudative processes. The exogenous agents, in order of importance from greatest to least, are: 1) the process of marine abrasion in the Western Mediterranean Sea causing the successive and continuous receding of the shoreline; 2) winds that, as well as providing corrosive salinity through a strong, permanent sea-spray, beat down on the surface of the islet and produce corrosion, deflation and the transportation of sediments to the sea; 3) human activity that has left two formidable marks on the shoreline: a ramp and an inlet on the western side of the islet. This physical weathering and the natural thermal effect produced by a drastic day-night temperature pendulum speed up the fracturing of the ground. Also, the activity of birds, their organic wastes and chemical action must be noted. All these factors modify the shoreline and the denuded surface of the islet. This overall analysis that takes into account the fore-mentioned factors: the cartography of the gully, fracture and cave systems on the islet, certain submarine fractures, and the redoubt’s rocky borders. This supports the hypothesis that, if the current geodynamic situation remains unchanged, this small emerged continental structure, just an islet, will disappear into a series of isolated rocks.

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