Sierra de Guadarrama Rivers

Posted in Rivers and wetlands

Rio manzanaresThe Sierra de Guadarrama halves the waters of two different large river basins: The Tajo River one at the south and the Duero River one at the north. It is also the administrative borderline of the Madrid and Castilla León Autonomous Communities. The main Sierra de Guadarrama Rivers have their origin at the National Park and are documented on the Natural Systems of the National Parks Law 30/2014 as “Water Courses and Riparian forests”. There are 337 km of fluvial courses (169km at the southern slope and168 km at the northern slope), of which 227 are permanent and 109 temporary, although the small streams, brooks and colluvial soils characteristic of this National Park, would double the mentioned water courses. All of them are classified, according to the hydrologic planning instruction as “Mediterranean siliceous mountain rivers”.

The waters of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park are oligotrophic, with a very low mineralization, conditioned by the Sierra predominant substrate: gneiss and granite. They are mountain streams and rivers with a high Mediterranean character due to the zone climate, changing the altitude between the Supra, Oro- Mediterranean and Crioro-Mediterranean levels.

Peñalara Massif wetlands

Posted in Rivers and wetlands

Charca de alta  montañaAt the Peñalara Massif there are several wetlands with a great interest and ecological value, which origin is linked to the glacial activity of the last glaciations period. Among all of them we should emphasize the Peñalara Lake (La Laguna Grande de Peñalara) due to its size and location at an extraordinary beautiful cirque. There are however other of less entity such as The Birds Lagoon (La Laguna de los Pájaros) and The Carnations Lagoon (La Laguna de Claveles), and numerous ponds and peat soils disseminated all over the massif. This high-mountain aquatic ecosystems richness has allowed the Peñalara Massif Wetlands inclusion as a Ramsar Site on the list of wetlands of international relevance.

When those lacustrine enclaves are located sporadically in a region, they reach a remarkable representative degree and even an emblematic character, very often proper of other latitudes great lakes. That is the case of The Peñalara Lake, one of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park visitors’ favorite destinations. In the past that lake suffered an important damage due to an inappropriate tourist use, leading to the accomplishment of a relevant ecologic restoring project. At the present time this enclave visit is limited in certain aspects to maintain its ecological status in excellent conditions.


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