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Rio Tinto y Puente Gadea (Villarrasa) | by sky_hlv
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Rio Tinto y Puente Gadea (Villarrasa)

El río Tinto (Luxia1 en la antigüedad) es un río costero del sur de España, que discurre a lo largo de la provincia de Huelva, Andalucía. Nace en la sierra de Padre Caro y tras recorrer casi 100 km llega hasta la Ría de Huelva, donde se funde con el río Odiel.

El río es conocido por el color rojizo de sus aguas, de ahí su nombre. La coloración tiene su origen en la meteorización de minerales que contienen sulfuros de metales pesados hallados en los yacimientos a lo largo del río. Por ello, la NASA lo escogió como hábitat a estudiar por su posible similitud con el ambiente del planeta Marte. Un experimento con participación del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, y desarrollado en el río Tinto, ha confirmado la posibilidad de que determinados tipos de organismos puedan sobrevivir bajo las restrictivas condiciones del planeta Marte.

 

The Río Tinto (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈri.o ˈtinto], red river) is a river in southwestern Spain that originates in the Sierra Morena mountains of Andalusia. It flows generally south-southwest, reaching the Gulf of Cádiz at Huelva.

Since ancient times, a site along the river has been mined for copper, silver, gold, and other minerals.[1] In approximately 3,000 BC, Iberians and Tartessians began mining the site, followed by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, and Moors. After a period of abandonment, the mines were rediscovered in 1556 and the Spanish government began operating them once again in 1724.[1] As a possible result of the mining, Río Tinto is notable for being very acidic (pH 2) and its deep reddish hue is due to iron dissolved in the water. The extreme conditions in the river may be analogous to other locations in the solar system thought to contain liquid water, such as subterranean Mars. NASA scientists have also directly compared the chemistry of the water in which the rocks of Meridiani Planum were deposited in the past with the Río Tinto.[7] Likewise Jupiter's moon Europa is theorized to contain an acidic ocean of water underneath its ice surface. Thus the river is of interest to astrobiologists.

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Taken on January 8, 2014