Geology in the Genal Valley
The Genal valley is a geologically diverse region, with three major rock structures: calcareous, silicate and peridotite.
The former are sedimentary, and grey or white in colour. They are most common in the north, east and south of the valley. The most striking examples are the bizarre weather-worn forms near the villages of Júzcar and Cartajima.
Silicate rocks are the most prevalent in the Genal Valley, and are oldest rocks in the region. Local silicate mountains are known as “sierras pardas”, due to the brown colour of the iron ore they contain.
Peridotite rocks are igneous in origin, green in colour, and rich in heavy metals. It provides multiple peculiarities to the geology of the Genal Valley, some being unique on a worldwide scale. They are also home to many of the plant endemisms, and the origin of many of the mines that operated from Roman times through to a mere few years ago.