Activities in the natural environment->Range Escalona->Geology and hydrology
Geology and hydrology

The Vega Baja del Segura is located in the Betic System presenting northwest-southwest folds. Three mountain ranges appear separated by two plains that meet in the Segura River basin: Sierra de Crevillente-Abanilla, Sierra de Orihuela-Callosa and Sierra de Pujálvarez - Escalona.

Geologically the place belongs to the neogenous basin of the Mar Menor, which is located on a complex basement formed by the Betic Units.

Within the Protected Landscape, three important elevations of the land stand out, such as the Sierra de Escalona, ??Sierra del Cristo and Sierra de Pujálvarez. Starting from the Sierra de Escalona, ??a gently sloping coastal plain, furrowed by an abundant drainage network, extends towards the sea.

The materials that make up the area are surface rocks that were deposited from the Upper Miocene to the Quaternary in a sedimentary basin. These are low resistance materials such as sandstones, marl, red silt, limestone or caliche crusts and quaternary deposits.

The origin of the elevations took place during the Upper Miocene by the approach of the African and Iberian plates that originated compressions and tensions, which led to the differentiation of the Bajo Segura basin.

The area has little evolved soils and with characteristics very similar to the source material.

Unique geological point of interest: San Miguel de Salinas fault as a place of geological interest as an excellent example to observe the tectonic-sedimentation relationship.

The elements of the hydrological system are of great relevance in the environment, highlighting:

  • The La Pedrera reservoir, a wetland of artificial origin built in 1980 on the bed of the Rambla Alcorisa, a wide erosive depression surrounded by low mountains, and with a highly impervious substrate. Inside this depression we find some marginal reliefs with gentle slopes towards the outside and stronger towards the inside. It can store 246.9 hm3 of water throughout the 1,272 ha it occupies. This reservoir is a key piece for the regulation and distribution of part of the waters coming from the Tajo-Segura Transfer Canal. This flow is used for irrigation of irrigated crops and for urban supply of various towns in its environment, managed by the Mancomunidad de los Canales del Taibilla.
  • Aquifers and wells
  • Various surface runoff drainage systems originating in Sierra Escalona: Río Nacimiento and Río Seco. Both are oriented in a NW-SE direction due to the arrangement of the reliefs that delimit their drainage basins. In addition, there are surface drainage systems towards the La Pedrera reservoir basin.

Most of the channels are cultivated or have disappeared due to the transformation of the land to adapt it to cultivation. In the Nacimiento river basin, agricultural transformations have altered water dynamics, causing runoff diversion and sediment accumulation. The transformation of runoff at the headwaters implies the dragging of a large quantity of materials towards the mouth that in episodes of intense rains become disastrous.

Only some sections have permanent water, from excess irrigation and other seepage. The rest of the channels act as boulevards, which only carry water for rapid evacuation after heavy rains.

Source used: Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition of the Generalitat Valenciana

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