Classic Geology in Europe 12: Almeria

Almeria is a province in southeast Spain, situated in the furthest southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a classic area for southern European and Mediterranean Neogene and Quaternary geology. In fact, it is not far north of the southern boundary of the European tectonic plate and, as a result, has been profoundly affected by the interaction of this and the African plate. In addition, the area is the driest region in Europe, with mild winters and hot summers, giving rise to a semi-arid climatic regime.

With this backdrop, this guide aims to cover the geology and geomorphology of the region. It is not aimed at the specialist research scientist, but rather at a more general readership including students and members of the general public with an interest in the earth sciences. As such, it concisely covers the structural geology of the area, its fault systems, and the superb and complete Neogene sedimentary sequence that it presents, among other things. For the geomorphologist, it describes the area’s diverse landforms, which include a wide range of erosional and depositional landscapes, which can only be explained by linking the several different geodynamic disciplines covered in the book.

More specifically, the guide is divided into two parts covering: (i) the main themes in the geology and geomorphology of the area; and (ii) keynote sites and itineraries. The itineraries contain advice as how to reach the relevant sites, which are all covered using full colour photos, graphs and diagrams. In addition, it has several appendices, dealing with the full geological, Neogene and Quaternary timescales, and a glossary of the terms used. The book is also small enough to fit in a coat pocket. The authors both have connections with the University of Liverpool. When Adrian Harvey retired from the university, he was Professor of Geomorphology, whose research focussed on fluvial dynamics, especially on active systems and arid regions. Since retirement, he has been Emeritus Professor of Geomorphology. Anne Mather completed her PhD at the university and then researched long-term controls on the geomorphology of tectonically active arid regions. She is currently Associate Professor (Reader) in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at Plymouth University.

Classic Geology in Europe 12: Almeria by Adrian Harvey and Anne Mather, Dunedin Academic Press Ltd, Edinburgh (2015). 230 pp., softback, ISBN: 978-1-78046-037-6

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