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Llano de Ucanca EarthCache

Hidden : 06/04/2010
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Geocache Description:

Teide National Park

Teide National Park (El Parque Nacional del Teide) is a World Heritage site located in the Canary Islands of Spain from 28° 09' 00" to 28° 20' 00"N by 16°29' 00" to16°44' 00"W. Teide on the island of Tenerife is the highest mountain in Spain and at 7,500 meters (m) above the sea floor, is the world's third largest volcanic structure. It is a shield volcano that combines a severely beautiful landscape, often wreathed in cloud, with a great variety of volcanic features with uncommon altitude-adapted endemic flora and invertebrate fauna. It has been long studied. The high unpolluted location makes it a natural laboratory for astrophysical research, for monitoring climatic change and global atmospheric pollution in addition to the study of the geological processes which created it.

1,650 m-3,718 m (Teide, 3,134 m Pico Viejo).

Physical Features
Teide is the highest mountain in Spain, an impressive stratovolcano in the center of the island of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, a chain formed like the Hawaiian Islands by the passing of the under-lying lithospheric plate across a magma plume. The nominated core and associated protected areas cover over a third of the island. Its peaks of Teide and Pico Viejo rise 1,700 m and 1,340 m respectively from the encircling 16 km-wide caldera of the huge ancient Las Canadas volcano, which erupted violently 200,000 years ago. The present volcano which is the third highest in the world after Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, rises 7,500 m from the ocean floor and was created over a long period by a low-intensity magmatic hot spot beneath an almost stationary tectonic plate. It is of great scientific interest because it concentrates in a palimpsest of successive eruptive and effusive landscapes a wide range of geological and magmatic features characteristic of such mid-plate oceanic islands. Most notable is the vast caldera of Las Canadas (the springs) created by a landslide, floored at the 2,000 m level by lava fields, walled by a 600 m escarpment of multicolored rocks, overlaid on the north side by the high volcanic summits rising out of it. The crescent-shaped floor of the caldera teems with a network of smaller volcanic mouths, cones, domes, lava channels, dikes, lavas from light felsic flows to viscid red lavas and black obsidian blocks, ochre plains of sandy alluvial deposits and red and black volcanic ejecta, scoria, lapilli and pumice, from a long series of basaltic effusions. They form the most varied collection known of volcanic structures, forms and detritus. The rocky soil is droughty but nutrient- and mineral-rich, and of many colors, in one place, Los Azulejos, greenish in cast. Under the intense sunlight the harsh red-brown desertic coloring streaked with basalt and, in season, bright with flowers, are very striking.

Visitors and Visitor Facilities
In the last decades of the 19th Century Teide became one of the first nature geo-tourism centers with the construction of the Altavista Refuge at 3,270m specifically for ecotourism (now reconstructed, with 60 beds). Now, there are about 3.5 million tourists a year, making it one of the most visited volcanoes in the world. Visitors are channeled through two educational programs: a Regulated Education program for scientists and a Public Use program served by a network of facilities and equipment, with guided tours for the public, educational lectures and school tours, training tours and environmental workshops. There are visitors' centers at the Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide hotel (Cañada Blanca) and at El Portillo which has a botanic garden of endemic plants and a fire and first aid station. There are also mountain refuges, several restaurants, a cable car with stations at 2,350 m and 3,550 m and a communications relay station. In addition to hiking, there are camping, climbing, caving and bike tours. The Park Service runs the educational Muñoz Nature Activities center just outside the Park.

This is an extract from the information on "The Encyclopedia of Earth" Website. For further reading please see the full article here.

Llano de Ucanca

A "cañada" is a sedimentary plain which is light yellow in colour and is normally found at the foot of the walls of the cirque where all the material resulting from erosion of the escarpments accumulates.
Some like that of Ucanca, which also gets sediment from the Teide, can be as large as 3 km in diameter. In winter it is not unusual to see small lakes that form in the cañada only to disappear again later.

How a Temporary Lake is Formed
While the wall of the caldera is made up of impermeable materials, it's interior is extremely permeable
When it rains, the water trickles down the wall carrying with it materials of all sizes, which are deposited at it's base; the ticker is laid down first, while the finer material is deposited further away.
In areas covered with deposits of fine sediments, water slowly filters through, but during spells of heavy rain, lakes are formed, lasting for just a few ...

Logging Requirements

Before logging, take a look at the info board in the posted coordinates and send us an e-mail with the answers to the following questions:
  • How long does a temporary lake lasts?
  • What is the most common bird of prey in this area?

The above information was compiled from the following sources:
  • United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (Content Partner); Mark McGinley (Topic Editor);. 2008. "Teide National Park, Spain." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia of Earth April 18, 2008; Last revised July 9,2008] <,_Spain>
  • Canary Isles: Teide Mountain <>
  • Infoboards at Teide National Park.

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