Submerged archipelago in Cabo de Gata

It has just been published the discovery of what might be called "the bridge between Africa and Europe". It seems to consist of a volcanic archipelago, submerged in the Alboran Sea, which would have allowed the migration of animal species from Europe to Africa and vice versa by the Cabo de Gata six million years ago. At first it allowed the passage of aquatic-terrestrial species and later the exchange of terrestrial fauna, such as camels and rabbits.

It seems that southeastern Iberia possessed a real wealth of fauna that, thanks to the archipelago, was distributed throughout North Africa.

The article containing this information has been published in Scientific Reports by a group of researchers from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).

The study explains that the formation of this archipelago occurred as a result of volcanic activity in the area 10 million years ago, this volcanic arc emerged on the Spanish coast from Cabo de Gata (Almeria) to Cabo de Tres Forcas (Melilla) and divided the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, contributing to the salinization crisis of the Mediterranean and its subsequent period of desiccation.

This is explained by the barrier action of the archipelago that prevented the exchange of water between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

Subsequently, this volcanic arc disappeared submerged in the Alboran Sea as a consequence of the cessation of the volcanism and the cooling of the earth's crust in the area. It seems that its total disappearance dates from approximately 1.8 million years ago.

Happy Kayak congratulates our researchers for this fantastic find that contributes to a better knowledge of the area and will allow further discoveries.