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Cascada Colorada

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Hidden : 01/13/2010
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Geocache Description:

The Cascada Colorada (colorful waterfall) is located in the national park Caldera de Taburiente. During your hike to this waterfal, you will encounter magnificent views and some geological features.

The colorful waterfall
The Caldera de Taburriente is a ring of summits 8 km in diameter, with drops of up to 2000 m, e.g. from Roque de los Muchachos (2436 m), the higest point, down to Dos Aguas, at the Park exit, in Barranco de las Angustias (Gorge of Fear).

View into the Caldera de Taburriente from its edge
The Caldera de Taburiente (literally, the Taburiente "Stewpot" or "Caldron") was first given the moniker in 1825 by German geologist Leopold von Buch, who took it to be a massive volcanic crater. The word "caldera" stuck, and was used as a standard term for such volcanic craters the world over. This caldera, however, is no crater, although volcanic activity was key in its creation. Scientists now agree that this was a majestically tall volcanic mountain, and that it collapsed on itself. Through the millennia, erosion excavated this tall-walled amphitheater. Making it the largest erosion crater in the world.

Roque de Idafe
Roque de Idafe
As you explore the quiet park, all may seem impressively stoic and still, but the forces of erosion are hard at work. Landslides and collapsing roques (pillars of volcanic rock) are frequent, and some geologists estimate it will finally disappear in just 5000 years. See this fast erosion near the Mirador de la Cumbrecita, where a group of pines stands atop a web of exposed roots, clinging miraculously to the hilltop. These trees were once planted firmly in the ground, but metres of soil have been lost during their lifetime.

Interesting geological formations in the park include: pillow lava (of submarine origin), dykes (vertical walls formed by lava which onces flowed inside crevices), lava flows, volcanic cones and pyroclastic mantles (of striking colours). Finally, the roques (chimney rocks or isolated crags), products of erosion or avalanches, stand out. Especially the Roque de Idafe, in the center of the Caldera. Where the Benahoaritas came here to praise their God, Abora.

Pillow Lava
Pillow lava can be found in the Caldera de Taburriente
At lower elevation, springs rich in iron salts stain the riverbeds yellow. In the Rio Almendro Amargo (Bitter Almond River) a waterfall can be found. The salts that colour the water, are also deposit on the wall of the waterfall. Together with the algea are these iron salts responsible for the colours of this beautiful waterfall.

Water is the main source of erosion in the Caldera. Water does not flow at a constant rate, but varies through the year.
To log this earthcache: Measure the width of the Rio Almendro Amargo at about 30 meters (100 feet) downstream of the Cascada Colorada. Photos of you before the waterfall and other geological features in the Caldera are greatly appreciated.

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