Geoparque Unesco

Geological Landscape

Sea withdrawal from Sobrarbe

Natural viewpoint over the rocks that record the transition from marine sedimentary environments to continental ones in the Eocene Basin.
Municipality: Bárcabo

You can access Eripol by the A-2205 road from Aínsa to Bárcabo. The point of interest is located near the village, in a NE direction, at a natural viewpoint near the cemetery. You can reach it after crossing some fields and walking up a lane lined with bushes. The viewpoint looks over a precipice which partially surrounds the village.

View from Eripol southwards over the reddish sedimentary terrain of fluvial and torrential origin..

Geological Context

The relatively small Eocene Basin in Aínsa (dimensions: 25 x 40Km) is located in the South-central Pyrenean Unit, and Eripol is located in its southern area. The reference points defining the Eocene Basin in Ainsa are: tectonic front of the Cotiella Massif (N and NE), Añisclo Anticline (N), Mediano Anticline (E), Boltaña Anticline (W) and other anticlines associated with the marginal mountain ranges (S).

These were active structures, interacting with sedimentation for 20 million years (from 45 million years ago until approximately 25 million years ago).

Geological Significance

The time span recorded in the rocks of the Aínsa Basin, which can be observed from the natural viewpoint in the village of Eripol, covers approximately 20 million years. Those sediments show the evolution of the sedimentary environments prevailing in this area through the Lutetian stage (45 million years ago) characterized by more or less deep marine sedimentation, evolving towards more shallow environments associated with deltas (41 million years ago) and progressively towards continental environments, with alluvial and fluvial deposits which filled the Ainsa Basin with sediments coming, firstly, from the rivers and torrents from the south and east and, later, from the north, from the Pyrenean erosion, during the Upper Oligocene period.

Its strategic location in Sobrarbe makes this an ideal spot from which to observe the spatial distribution of the different geological units, providing quality data about the evolution of the sedimentary deposits in the Aínsa Basin.

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