The Rio Tinto in southwestern Spain -

The Rio Tinto in southwestern Spain. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the colorful Rio Tinto, or “stained river,” in southwestern Spain.

According to NASA, the Rio Tinto flows through an area unusually rich with sulfide ore deposits, which formed hundreds of millions of years ago when volcanoes were active in the area.

When the metals in these deposits are exposed to water and oxygen, they produce acidic runoff that flows into streams and rivers. 

The acidic runoff makes the Rio Tinto unsuitable for most types of life, yet more hospitable to sulfide-consuming bacteria and other microorganisms.

The image was captured on February 2, 2020 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España), is a country in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula.Its territory also includes two archipelagos: the Canary Islands off the coast of North Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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