Poblete Piedrabuena, M. Á., Martí Molist, J., Beato Bergua, S., Marino Alfonso, J. L. (2019). The Deterioration of Geoheritage in the Central Spanish Volcanic Region by Open-Pit Mining. Geoheritage. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12371-019-00405-x
The geoheritage of the Central Spanish Volcanic Region (Ciudad Real) has been severely affected by open pit mining since the beginning of the twentieth century until 2017. Field work, photointerpretation of aerial images, and consultation of the Mining Cadaster of the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME) have been used to characterize the impact that open-pit mining has on the geomorphology of this volcanic area. As a result of this intense mining activity, uninterrupted over the course of a century, 18.76 million tons of basalt and more than 16.11 million tons of scoriaceous deposits (considered as industrial minerals) have been extracted, which has caused irreversible damage to the region’s geoheritage. Some thirty volcanoes have been destroyed, with cinder cones and exogenous domes being particularly affected. Currently, the validity of this mining exploitation system represents a serious threat to the conservation of the rich volcanic heritage of the area. Therefore, urgent measures are needed to rationalize the management of natural resources, namely, to make their use and preservation compatible for the future generations.