luni, 30 mai 2011

Pyla dune - "Sahara" from France

Duna Pyla – „Sahara” din Franţa

Who could have imagined, even for an instant, that a geological formation so vast scale, appearing to belong to one of the great deserts of the world, dominates the beautiful province of Aquitaine lazy, France? Geological phenomenon was unprecedented and extremely picturesque tourist attraction, the great dune of Pyla, the highest sand dune in old Europe, we expect to admire. Come on, it's not that far. Only 60 kilometers from the city of Bordeaux.

Dune and pine forest

As I said, if you're in the beautiful city of Bordeaux, about an hour's drive separates you from the wonderful and somewhat surreal, where you'll encounter huge sand dune, though transmuted by a skilful magician in the scorching Sahara boundlessness in Aquitaine.

Located within the Bay of Arcachon, near the Atlantic, the huge agglomeration of sand has a length of about 2,500 meters, the approximate width of 500 meters and reaches a maximum height of 107 meters. I almost forgot: the dune volume is 60 million cubic meters ...

In fact, if you dig site geology, discover some of the mystery of this strange genesis of sand dunes.

The western part of the province is covered by clusters Aquitaine sand dunes close to continental and coastal deposits

As a matter of fact, to hold the sandy soil, the French authorities have planted here since the nineteenth century, a large Mediterranean pine forest, which today constitute the largest distinct body of pine forest in Europe. So if you hit the area, you experience a unique ambience and extremely spectacular. This real feast for the eyes and soul is in Pyla dune, surrounded by dark green pine forest, dark blue and azure sky Atlantic.

Complex coastal sand dunes of Aquitaine is a single party in Europe. Not just because of the Pyla dune and the records of the largest and highest formation of this type on the old continent. No.

Here we meet no less than four categories of coastal dunes, differentiate between them based on morphology.

Sitting from east to west and classified by geologists with specific names, we find parabolic dunes, crescent, round, sand or wind barriers, the latter being strictly modeled winds. All these dunes have asymmetric morphologies, ie their slopes are steep eastern and western slopes are smooth.

French geologists have measured accurately classified and German (if I may say so).

47 dune heights between 70-100 meters, 350 were between 50 -70, 710 dunes are relatively low, between 30-50 meters, and the remaining 410 have minimum heights between 10-30 meters.

Above all stands, separate Pyla dune, dune called by the French and Pilate.

How did

The uniqueness and beauty, dune is considered one of the "seven wonders of the geology of Europe. " And not without reason.

You must do a minimum of physical effort to climb. Once (a) high peak and fragile, as only a ridge of the dune may be hard to find words and descriptions seem serbede.

The air, the heavenly smell of sea and steppe plants evolved aromas of pine forest complete the beauty of the moment. A camera and binoculars are absolutely necessary to admire and capture images and emotions of neregăsit elsewhere.

To answer our question imminent, on the genesis spectacular sight you have just climbed, must less of bliss when we descend directly into the world of scientific data that explains the appearance of colossal dunes.

Pyla dune has a composition similar to that of the small dunes near to sandy beaches is made ​​up of silicon chips.

Winds have uniform grinding thousands of years until every grain of sand has reached the approximate size of 0.35 millimeters in diameter. Sand grain size changes from north to south, obviously affected sinclinalul dune and intensity winds.

If Soulac grain size is 0.35 mm, near Arcachon, grains of sand only reach 0.25 mm. And further south in the direction of Bayonne, the diameter increased to 0.40 mm, but the average trillions of grains of sand taken as a whole remains 0.35.

The slopes on the east coast have a natural inclination of 30-40 degrees, and those on the west side have only 5 to 20 degrees.

Like any sand dune, Pyla dune ridge moves and changes constantly. Fluctuates between the minimum crest elevation of 70 meters and maximum 107.

Perhaps many will be surprised to find that a dune of Pyla is very young. He was born between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, by crowding sand dunes and under the action of other ubiquitous winds influenced by the immediate vicinity of the Atlantic.

The entire geological phenomenon was caused by channel and migration of sand south of Arcachon Bay. Channel movements caused severe erosion of the eastern coast.

Based on historical data, between 1826-1922, right around the coasts of Pyla dune was eroded by about 500 meters. Thus, the vegetation that covers the west coast of La Grave dune was destroyed.

Without vegetation to fix them, the sands were transported and stored in the pines surrounding the Pyla dune.

Today, the dune has been installed, with nonchalance as if more than 20 private land. Each year, the sand on the eastern slope covers about 8,000 square meters of pine forest.

Although its harmful extensions, short vegetation and private property, to be admired and protected dune. It is the ephemeral nature of the monuments in Europe, and a stop around her, joined with a sunrise and sunset from atop admired his expertise that must necessarily remain a living.

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