Baronal is a ridge separating the campilla of Genoveses from the sea on its southern
flank. Where in the Western massif solid granite predominates the Baronal has a different
structure. Were its material to have been ejected through terrestrial vulcanism it
would probably be pyroclasts and spread over a wider area. In submarine conditions
these emissions appear to have been constrained into domes producing an exotic undulating
coast with corniced sea cliffs. Perhaps this is a wall formed as the caldera slowly
collapsed? It spreads from Genoveses as far as Monsul where quite different tuffs
Right: the start of Baronal seen from Genoveses head. Right below: the main stretch
of Baronal with the western massif in the distance. Left: complex layering of successive
volcanic emissions can be seen on this rocky bulkhead. Semi molten material is visible
at the base, a thick layer of tuffs, then pyroclast conglomerates (What does one
call these when in a submarine environment?) capped by a columnar basalt flow. Are
the cornices caused by a heat hardened surface layer? Perhaps many millions of years
are represented on this image.
Far left: granite lumps and fused hot ash cooled rapidly in submarine conditions;
left: columnar basalt and a basalt pinnacle; right: columnar basalt and the very
fine sand erosion by sea and wind creates from these materials.
All these rocks resist erosion & the Med has less force than ocean. Above & left
show how tuffs go first. Right: complex pattern of basalt flows on a cliff face
at the western end of the long Baronal beach. Discontinuities in the range are also
interesting perhaps seismic in origin during lift & collision?
The structure of Cala de las Amatistas (amethysts) is interesting. On either side
tall andesitic cliffs rise sheer over 20 metres The cove itself, like most others
on this coast, is the seaward end of an eroded ravine where more friable matter has
been carried away. Squeezed between these cliffs is what appears to be the remains
of a hydrothermal vent around a lava extrusion and it is from this that amethyst
& citrine fragments emerge in the rubble. Hunting them is a relaxing way of spending
an hour (or two) in tranquility filled only with the sound of sea around the crashed
erosions from the andesitic conglmerates.
Bentonite is still actively quarried near Agua Amarga. It is a large quarry on the
landward side of one of the coastal vulcanisms. The illustration on the left shows
it stacked; that on the right shows it spread to weather. The large reef and volcano
complex of Mesa Roldan (Orlando’s table - for obvious reasons, it is large and flat)
is in the background. For other images of this see Carboneras. In the UK the many
industrial uses to which this volcanic ooze is put are fulfilled by kaolin, which
is rotted or degraded granite.
Both this page and the previous one are in the process of revision of the text. Much
of the time I am feeling my way here and discovering better interpretations.