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A geological marvel revealed by science

A geological marvel revealed by science

Images shared by the European Space Agency (ESA) reveal the amazing structure of Mauritania’s geological formation.
Helder Lopez Helder Lopez 6 minutes

In MauritaniaIn the middle of the Sahara Desert, that itLocated here is an impressive geological marvel known as the Eye of the Desert. This circular structure with a diameter of 40 kilometers is a true spectacle of nature and can be easily seen from space.

Astronauts on space missions have admired this geological formation for decadesIts origin has been the subject of intense discussion and research.

A balcony of wonders: The search for clues to the complex origin of the Sahara Eye

Contrary to many theories that suggested that the Eye of the Desert resulted from a recent meteorite collision Some researchers believe that its composition is even more complex and fascinating.

Circular vane structureas it is officially known, It is located in the northwestern part of the Taoudeni BasinIn the central region of the Adrar Highlands of Mauritania. It stands out in the landscape because it is a slightly elliptical depression, surrounded by concentric ridges of rocks dating from the Proterozoic to Lower Paleozoic era. This structure is unique, characterized by its layers of highly resistant quartzite rocks, which form the hillsWhile the valleys between them consist of less resistant rocks.

Desert EyeIn reality, As a result a dome of molten rock rose andWhen it reaches the surface, They were sculpted over millions of years by wind and water. In contrast to the previous meteorite impact theory, recent geological research suggests that this formation is of magmatic and intrusive origin.

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What else do you have? It consists of a dolomite limestone platform covered by massive siliceous breccia kilometers longWhich in turn is exposed to intrusion by small basalt rings and alkaline volcanic rocks.

Despite everything, the origin of the Ain al-Sahara still fascinates scientists, turning it into a geological mystery that challenges traditional theories.

A geological mystery that is a delight to observe from space and challenges researchers

Research on Ain al-Sahara dates back to the 1950sWhen it was first identified in aerial photographs. Since then, scientists from various fields, but above all geologists, have dedicated themselves to unraveling the secrets of this structure.

In recent field workIn which multidisciplinary teams from the field of geology and geophysics participated, Magmatic and intrusive origin have been confirmed. The circular quill structure, previously thought to be the result of a meteorite impact, now exists It is seen as an intercalation between different molten rocksincluding gabbroic ring dikes connected by a body of large intrusive magma.

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One of the most prominent features of the Eye of the Desert is the way its appearance changes depending on the angle of observation. When viewed from space, it looks like a giant target, sometimes compared to a 40-kilometre-wide flying saucer.. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station highlighted the vitality of this formation in the desert landscape. but, The view at ground level is much less impressiveWhich often indicates a lack of recognition of the structure.

One explanation for this phenomenon arises from the fact that at ground level, The desert eye loses its distinctive appearance. The geological structure is not easily seen at similar elevations and can blend into the surrounding terrain.

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For residents of Mauritania, a visit to Ain Sahara entails a desert adventure that few tourists would want to undertake. Few people have the privilege of immersing themselves in the grandeur of this geological formation due to its inhospitable location.although the road can be very rich.

In addition to, Wadan citylocated nearby, It is a historical site that bears witness to the rich cultural and commercial heritage of the region. It’s part of a list UNESCO World Heritage It dates back to the time when Mauritania played a central role in the trans-Saharan salt trade.

at the moment, Cities like Ouadane and Chinguetti are home to ancient monuments and libraries Which tells the story of an era in which the Islamic world was a pioneer in the fields of science and technology.