Ebro Delta

The Ebro Delta (Catalan: Delta de l'Ebre, IPA: [ˈdɛltə ðə ˈleβɾə]; Spanish: Delta del Ebro, IPA: [ˈdelta ðel ˈeβɾo]) is the delta region of the Ebro River (Catalan: Ebre, Spanish: Ebro), in the Province of Tarragona, Catalonia, in northeastern Spain. It is on the Mediterranean Sea, and is the northernmost point, by some designations, of the Gulf of Valencia. Its location per Ramsar site designation is 40°43′N 0°44′E / 40.717°N 0.733°E.

Designations
Official nameDelta del Ebro
Designated26 March 1993
Reference no.593[1]
Ebro Delta from Landsat
The Ebro River delta at the Mediterranean Sea from space

Geography

Delta del Ebro Anedes
Ebro Delta estuary and wetlands, with waterfowl.
Arrozales en el Delta del Ebro
Agricultural fields in the delta.

The Ebro Delta is one of the largest wetland areas in the western Mediterranean region, at 320 km2 (79,000 acres).[2] The Ebro delta has expanded rapidly on soils washed downriver. The town of Amposta, a seaport in the 4th century, demonstrates the historical rate of growth of the delta as it is now located well inland from the current river mouth. The rounded form of the delta attests to the balance between sediment deposition by the Ebro and removal of this material by wave erosion.

The area at the primary mouth of the Ebro is currently protected by several fluvial islands: the Isle of Garxal (280 ha, 690 acres), the Isle of Sant Antoni (170 ha, 420 acres), and the Isle of Buddha (1,231 ha, 3,040 acres).[3]

The Ebro Delta was placed, with 7,736 ha (19,120 acres) in 1993, on the Ramsar Convention list of wetlands of international importance as defined for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value.[4][5]

Uses

Delta de l'Ebre
The Ebre Delta wetlands habitat.

Agriculture

Some delta areas have been drained for agricultural use over the centuries. The modern delta is in intensive agricultural use for rice, fruit (in particular citrus), and vegetables. The Rice-producing Cooperative of the Ebro Delta accounts for a production capacity of 45 thousand tonnes of rice annually, from 14 varietals,[6] cultivated on 22,000 hectares.[7] Compared to the major Spanish rice-producing regions of Andalusia and Extremadura, yields in the Ebro Delta are more consistent, due to a stable water supply.[8]

Since 1992, the Ebro Delta is one of three Spanish regions awarded a Protected Designation of Origin for rice production.[9] "The designation includes six varieties: bahía, bomba, fonsa, montsianell, sènia and tebre, grown exclusively in the towns of Aldea, Ampolla, Amposta, Camarles, Deltebre, Sant Carles de la Ràpita and Sant Jaume d'Enveja."[7]

A network of canals and irrigation ditches constructed by both agricultural and conservation groups are helping to maintain the ecologic and economic resources of the Ebro Delta. The zebra mussel, an invasive species, is expanding through the delta and upstream in Ebro waters. Due to its rapid rate of reproduction with a competing advantage, the zebra mussel is adversely affecting native species.

Wildlife

In 1983 Spain designated a large part of the delta as a natural park. Ebro Delta Natural Park (Catalan: Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre, Spanish: Parque Natural del Delta del Ebro) has a total surface area of 7,802 hectares (19,280 acres) [2][10] The natural park has protected wetlands, beaches, marshes, salt pans, and estuaries that provide extensive habitats.[2]

The park is of international importance for eight of its plant species and 69 of its vertebrate fauna. It has some 95 breeding species of birds, is also very important for over 300 species of a wide range of transient and overwintering species, and serves as an essential stopover point for large numbers of migratory birds and waterfowl. The Ebro delta has the world's largest colony of Audouin's gulls. In 2006 it held a record number of more than 15,000 pairs.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Delta del Ebro". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Ebro.info: Ebro Delta Natural Park . accessed 5.22.2011
  3. ^ www.delta-turistic: Visiting the Ebro Delta . accessed 5.22.2011
  4. ^ Ramsar list
  5. ^ Ramsar Sites Database Archived 2008-07-14 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Much more than rice". arrossaires.com. Cooperative Arrossaires del Delta de l'Ebre. n.d. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Ebro Delta Rice". catalunya.com. Catalunya. n.d. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Europe § Geographical features and major cultivation constraints". ricepedia.org. Ricepedia. n.d. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Spanish Rice... and Shine!". foodswinesfromspain.com. Food and Wines from Spain. 23 November 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. ^ www.audouinbirding: Ebro Delta Natural Park Archived 2008-01-15 at the Wayback Machine

External links

Aiguamolls de l'Empordà

The Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de l'Empordà is a natural park in Catalonia, Spain. It forms part of the Bay of Roses and, like the Ebro Delta, was a malarial swampland. The marshland lies between the Rivers Fluvià and Muga. It is the second largest wetland in Catalonia at over 4,800 hectares and was established in 1983.During the 19th century, much of the marsh was drained as canals were created and the land converted to agriculture. However, virgin marsh and dunes remained and was given Natural Park status in the 1980s after a campaign to save the area from development.

The park accommodates 327 different species. Great spotted cuckoo, spoonbill, nightingale, collared pratincole and stone-curlew are among its many birds. The park offers seven hides and one tower for bird watchers. They are connected through a plain dirt track which allows wheelchairs.

At-Turtushi

'Abu Bakr Muhammad at-Turtushi (Arabic: ابو بكر محمد بن الوليد الطرطوشي‎‎) (1059 – 1126 CE; 451 AH – 520 AH ), better known as At-Turtushi was one of the most prominent Andalusian political philosophers of the twelfth century. His book Kitāb Sirāj al-Mulūk (The Lamp of Kings) was one of the most important works of political theory to be produced in the medieval Islamic world. At-Turtushi was also an accomplished jurist in the Maliki school.

Base level

In geology and geomorphology a base level is the lower limit for an erosion process. The modern term was introduced by John Wesley Powell in 1875. The term was subsequently appropriated by William Morris Davis who used it in his cycle of erosion theory. The "ultimate base level" is the plane that results from projection of the sea level under landmasses. It is to this base level that topography tends to approach due to erosion, eventually forming a peneplain close to the end of a cycle of erosion.There are also lesser structural base levels where erosion is delayed by resistant rocks. Examples of this include karst regions underlain by insoluble rock. Base levels may be local when large landmasses are far from the sea or disconnected from it, as in the case of endorheic basins. An example of this is the Messinian salinity crisis, in which the Mediterranean Sea dried up making the base level drop more than 1000 m below sea level.The height of a base level also influences the position of deltas and river terraces. Together with river discharge and sediment flux the position of the base level influences the gradient, width and bed conditions in rivers. A relative drop in base level can trigger re-adjustments in river profiles including knickpoint migration and abandonment of terraces leaving them "hanging". Base level fall is also known to result in progradation of deltas and river sediment at lakes or sea. If the base level falls below the continental shelf, rivers may form a plain of braided rivers until headward erosion penetrates enough inland from the shelfbreak.When base levels are stable or rising rivers may aggrade. Rising base levels may also drown the lower courses of rivers creating rias. This happened in the Nile during the Zanclean flood when its lower course became, in a relatively short time, a large estuary extending up to 900 km inland from the Mediterranean coast.Base level change may be related to the following factors:

Sea level change

Tectonic movement

River capture

Extensive sedimentation

Bomba rice

Bomba rice (Spanish: arroz bomba) is a short-grain variety of rice (Oryza sativa L.), primarily cultivated in the eastern parts of Spain. It is commonly used in paella and other dishes in Valencian cuisine, and is often referred to as Valencia rice. It has short grains due to the presence of amylopectin.

Botanical garden Ecoherbes Park

Botanical Garden Ecoherbes Park is a botanical garden of medicinal plants located in the town of L'Ampolla known as "Porta del Delta de l'Ebre" because of its proximity to the Ebro Delta in the region of Baix Ebre, an area declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

Calasparra rice

Calasparra rice (Spanish: arroz de Calasparra) is a variety of rice native to the region of Murcia, Spain.

Along with rice produced in Valencia and the Ebro Delta, it is one of three Spanish rices with a Denominación de Origen, since 1986. It is named for the municipality of Calasparra.

Rice cultivation is documented in Murcia dating back to the 14th century, and is thought to have been introduced to the area by Muslim occupiers. The use of terrace irrigation and well-drained soil make the region ideal for rice cultivation. Calasparra rice is matured longer than other strains of rice, and is exceptionally absorbent, making it well-suited for the preparation of paella.

Ebro

The Ebro (Spanish and Basque pronunciation: [ˈeβɾo]; Catalan: Ebre [ˈeβɾə]) is a river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the second longest river in the Iberian peninsula after the Tagus and the second biggest by discharge volume and by drainage area after the Douro.

The Ebro flows through the following cities: Reinosa in Cantabria; Frías and Miranda de Ebro in Castile and León; Haro, Logroño, Calahorra, and Alfaro in La Rioja; Tudela in Navarre; Alagón, Utebo, Zaragoza, and Caspe in Aragon; and Flix, Móra d'Ebre, Benifallet, Tivenys, Xerta, Aldover, Tortosa, and Amposta in Catalonia.

Fleur de sel

Fleur de sel ("flower of salt" in French; French pronunciation: ​[flœʁ də sɛl]) or flor de sal (also "flower of salt" in Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan) is a salt that forms as a thin, delicate crust on the surface of seawater as it evaporates. Fleur de sel has been collected since ancient times (it was mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his book Natural History), although it was traditionally used as a purgative and salve. It is now used as a finishing salt to flavor and garnish food. The name comes from the flower-like patterns of crystals in the salt crust.

Gulf of Valencia

The Gulf of Valencia (Valencian: Golf de València, Spanish: Golfo de Valencia), is a gulf or inlet of the western Mediterranean Sea, on the eastern coast of Spain. Its limits are the Cap de la Nau headland in the south, while the northern limit is diffuse: for some it is the Cape of Vinaròs; and for others it is the Ebre Delta. When the Cape of Vinaròs is used the Gulf of Valencia's coast is entirely within the Valencian Community. When the Ebre Delta is used its northern coast is within southern Catalonia.

The tiny Columbretes islets are located in the gulf. The Gulf of Valencia is bisected by the Prime Meridian.

N-340 road (Spain)

The N-340 is a major highway in Spain. It is over 1,000 km long starting south of Barcelona and running predominantly along the coast to Chiclana de la Frontera and the N-IV to Cádiz. In many places the road has now been by-passed by the Autovía A-7 and Autopista AP-7.

It follows the former Roman road Via Augusta, that was one of the main roads of Hispania. The N-340 route passes the Arc de Berà, a Roman arch.

The road starts at the Passeig de Josep Carner in Barcelona. It follows the Avinguda del Paral·lel, Plaça d'Espanya, Carrer de Sants and Carretera de Collblanc before becoming the Carretera de Cadiz a Barcelona and heading through a series of suburbs and industrial areas.

The road crosses the Llobregat valley with a junction with the Autovía A-2 and Autovía B-24, it heads through the Garraf Massif to Vilafranca del Penedès. It then heads along the coast to Tarragona, changing to the A7 until Cambrils, then crossing the River Ebro (delta) and on to Peníscola. Then it passes through Castellón de la Plana after which much of the road has been superseded by the Autovía CV-10 and Autovía V-21 to Valencia.

South of Valencia the road is the Autovía V-31 before becoming the N-340 after junction 536 km of the A-7. The road then heads inland with a junction with the Autovía A-35 before crossing the Sierra de Benicadell through Alcoy. The road then branches off along the Rio Torremanzanas towards Alicante. Through traffic now takes the Autovía A-36. The N-340 then passes through Elche and Murcia, where the road is at parts dangerous. after which the road is downgraded and joins the A-7 for several stretches. It goes through Lorca.

At junction 516 km the road branches in two with the N-340A heading west to Tabernas and the Autovía A-92. The main N-340 becomes the A-7 past Almería until Adra where the Autopista is under construction. The N-340 passes along the coast past Motril, Nerja where the A-7 begins again. After Málaga the road heads through Torremolinos and Fuengirola before becoming the A-7 again. The N-340 re-emerges at Marbella and Puerto Banús and follows the coast south to Estepona where it joins the A-7 again to Algeciras past Gibraltar. The Autovía A-381 takes most traffic west to Jerez de la Frontera through the Sierra Blanquilla.

The N-340 passes Tarifa past the Punta Marroquí o de Tarifa. It then passes Vejer de la Frontera and ends at Chiclana de la Frontera and the N-IV. The last section is being upgraded to the Autovía A-48.

Paddy field

A paddy field is a flooded parcel of arable land used for growing semiaquatic rice. Paddy cultivation should not be confused with cultivation of deepwater rice, which is grown in flooded conditions with water more than 50 cm (20 in) deep for at least a month. Genetic evidence shows that all forms of paddy rice, both indica and japonica, spring from a domestication of the wild rice Oryza rufipogon that first occurred 8,200–13,500 years ago South of the Yangtze River in present-day China. However, the domesticated indica subspecies currently appears to be a product of the introgression of favorable alleles from japonica at a later date, so that there are possibly several events of cultivation and domestication. Paddy fields are the typical feature of rice farming in east, south and southeast Asia. Fields can be built into steep hillsides as terraces and adjacent to depressed or steeply sloped features such as rivers or marshes. They can require a great deal of labor and materials to create, and need large quantities of water for irrigation. Oxen and water buffalo, adapted for life in wetlands, are important working animals used extensively in paddy field farming.

During the 20th century, paddy-field farming became the dominant form of growing rice. Hill tribes of Thailand still cultivate dry-soil varieties called upland rice. Paddy field farming is practiced in Asia, namely in Cambodia, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, and in Europe, Northern Italy, the Camargue in France, and in Spain, particularly in the Albufera de València wetlands in the Valencian Community, the Ebro Delta in Catalonia and the Guadalquivir wetlands in Andalusia, as well as along the eastern coast of Brazil, the Artibonite Valley in Haiti, and Sacramento Valley in California, among other places. Paddy fields are a major source of atmospheric methane and have been estimated to contribute in the range of 50 to 100 million tonnes of the gas per annum.

Studies have shown that this can be significantly reduced while also boosting crop yield by draining the paddies to allow the soil to aerate to interrupt methane production. Studies have also shown the variability in assessment of methane emission using local, regional and global factors and calling for better inventorisation based on micro level data.

Province of Tarragona

Tarragona (Catalan: [tərəˈɣonə]), is a province of the southern part of Catalonia. It is bordered by the provinces of Castelló, Terol, Saragossa, Lleida and Barcelona and by the Mediterranean Sea.

The province's population is 795,902 (2018), about one fifth of whom live in the capital, Tarragona. Some of the larger cities and towns in Tarragona province include Reus, Salou, El Vendrell, Tortosa, Valls, Amposta. This province has 183 municipalities. The province includes several World Heritage Sites and is a popular tourist destination. There are Roman Catholic cathedrals in Tarragona and Tortosa.

San Antonio Island

San Antonio Island (Spanish: Isla de San Antonio; Catalan: Illa de Sant Antoni) is an island located in the eastern part of the Ebro Delta, belonging to the municipality of Deltebre, Catalonia, Spain. The island has an area of approximately 140 hectares (350 acres).The island consists of dunes and marshes and has a very rich biodiversity. San Antonio Island and nearby Buda Island are protected areas included in Delta del Ebro Natural Park.

Sant Carles de la Ràpita

Sant Carles de la Ràpita is a town in the area of the Montsià in Catalonia, Spain. The town covers a portion of the south-west of the Ebro Delta, including el Trabucador isthmus and la Banya peninsula, which close off a salt water lagoon known as the Port dels Alfacs. The town of Sant Carles de la Ràpita is situated on the coast near the mouth of the lagoon. It was founded by Charles III of Spain as a port to serve trade with the Spanish colonies, and constructed in the neoclassical style of the period. However, much of the town remained uncompleted after Charles' death.

Sant Carles is part of the Taula del Sénia free association of municipalities. It is known for the production of rice and salt, and is also an important fishing port, particularly for shellfish and prawns, and a tourist centre. In the last few years, the town has suffered a huge urban development due to the construction of many apartments and residential buildings.

Sant Jaume d'Enveja

Sant Jaume d'Enveja is a municipality in the comarca of the Montsià in Catalonia, Spain. It is situated in the southern half of the Ebro Delta, on the right bank of the river. The municipality was created in 1978: previously the territory formed part of the municipality of Tortosa.

It is linked to Amposta by a local road, and to Deltebre on the opposite bank by a service of barges.

The town was established relatively recently in the 1860s. This is due in part to the formation of the delta over the last few centuries from the river's sedimentary deposits.

The town's economy is centred on agriculture, principally rice cultivation, along with a strong tourist industry. The tourism sector has seen an expansion in recent years based on the attractive countryside offered by the River Ebre Delta national park and its biodiversity. There is a lighthouse on the island of Buda.

Sant Jaume d'Enveja became part of the Montsià in the comarcal revision of 1990: previously it formed part of the Baix Ebre.

Sistema Ibérico

The Iberian System (Spanish: Sistema Ibérico, pronounced [sisˈtema iˈβeɾiko]), is one of the major systems of mountain ranges in Spain.

It consists of a vast and complex area of mostly relatively high and rugged mountain chains and massifs located in the central region of the Iberian Peninsula, but reaching almost the Mediterranean coast in the Valencian Country in the east.

From the hydrographic viewpoint this system is of the highest relevance in the peninsula, for it separates the watersheds of most of the major rivers in Spain and Portugal, including the Ebro basin from the basins of the Douro, Tagus, Guadiana (Záncara-Gigüela), Júcar and Turia.

There are important mining areas in some of the ranges such as Sierra Menera, Sierra de Arcos and Sierra de San Just, making the system one of the chief mining regions in Spain since ancient times. One of the comarcas of Aragon located in the Iberian System was given the name of Cuencas Mineras since mining is the main activity in the comarca.

Spanish Ornithological Society

The Spanish Ornithological Society (in Spanish: Sociedad Española de Ornitología; SEO/BirdLife) is Spain’s main bird conservation charity. It was founded in 1954 and has 8,000 members and 50 staff. It is Spain’s representative in the BirdLife International partnership.The SEO has campaigned to get the central government to have all areas currently designated as Important Bird Areas to be given Special Protection Area status. It also collects bird data and recently published the Atlas of Breeding Birds of Spain, which covers the whole country and all breeding species recorded. This work took four years a year of writing and editing.It has censused Eurasian griffon vultures, campaigned against illegal poisoning of raptors and other predators, and worked on sustainable agriculture in the Ebro Delta.Since 1998, SEO/BirdLife has also implemented an international programme in a North Africa and Latin America. The main focus as of 2008 is Morocco, carrying out different projects, mainly in wetlands. It is involved in monitoring the critically endangered northern bald ibis in its Moroccan stronghold in the Souss-Massa National Park.

Tortosa

Tortosa (Catalan: [toɾˈtoza]; Spanish: [toɾˈtosa]) is the capital of the comarca of Baix Ebre, in Catalonia, Spain.

Tortosa is located at 12 metres (39 feet) above sea level, by the Ebro river, protected on its northern side by the mountains of the Cardó Massif, of which Buinaca, one of the highest peaks, is located within Tortosa's municipal boundary.

Before Tortosa, across the river, rise the massive Ports de Tortosa-Beseit mountains. The area around Mont Caro and other high summits are often covered with snow in the winter.

Wignacourt towers

The Wignacourt towers (Maltese: Torrijiet ta' Wignacourt) are a series of large coastal watchtowers built in Malta by the Order of Saint John between 1610 and 1620. A total of six towers of this type were constructed, four of which survive.

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