Mountain range of Andujar Natural Park
Oasis of peace in the heart of Sierra Morena
The mountain range of Andujar Natural Park, an oasis of peace in the heart of the jiennense Sierra Morena, has some undulating reliefs in the center of the territory, steep landscapes in the course of some rivers and streams; and broken reliefs throughout the northern fringe. In this mountainous area of mountain range Quintana, is Burcio del Pino Peak with the maximum height 1,290 m above sea level.
The geological history of the mountain range of Andújar is long and complex, extending from the Lower Paleozoic to our days, over 500 million years.
Lithologically, shales and quartzites stand out, which dominate most of the surface. There is also a strip of granite and some limestone sedimentary enclave in the northern part.
The relief is characterized by the gentle undulations typical of the Sierra Morena landscape. These soft formations are interrupted by valleys where rivers excavate channels, sometimes narrow.
In the Park, the following areas are distinguished:
The north end, characterized by its rugged and mountainous relief, with drops of sharp heights and steep slopes. It is dominated by quartzite, the oldest materials of the massif; and slate, which gives rise to this characteristic landscape of ridges and valleys. In this mountainous area, in Sierra Quintana, there is the Burcio del Pino Peak with the highest elevation, with 1,290 m.
South center band (granitic peneplain of the Virgen de la Cabeza), with a wavy flat type morphology. This homogeneity is only altered by small hills and headlands of ravines.
Part of the central and southern sector, again with steep relief due to the ravines and boxing caused by the erosion of major river courses, such as the Jándula River and the Yeguas. Again there are granite rocks belonging to the outcrop of the Los Pedroches Batholith.
In terms of altimetry, the Park is located between 200 m in the South, in the Jándula River, and 1,291 m in the Sierra Quintana, on the border with Ciudad Real. The average altitude in the Park is 585 m.
This orography of the terrain, furrowed by numerous fluvial channels that flow into the Guadalquivir and that sometimes mold deep gorges and steep slopes, give place to sites of great beauty.
© Aquilino Duque
From the hydrological point of view, this natural space is conditioned by the geology of the area, with the Jandula, Mares, Pinto, Valmayor, Sardinillas and Cabrera rivers, all belonging to the Guadalquivir River Basin, which run from north to south perpendicularly to this river.
The fluvial network is distributed in 3 sub-basins: Mares, Jandula and Rumblar. Of all these water courses that cross the interior of the Natural Park, the Jandula River is the most important, being in its margins attractive recreational areas, being possible to practice in them, in addition, fishing and some water activities. The flow of these rivers presents oscillations, especially in the summer season.
On the eastern boundary of the Natural Park are two reservoirs, the one of the Jandula (322 hm3) and the one of the Encinarejo (15 hm3), both on the river Jandula. These are reservoirs with large level oscillations due to the accused low water levels.
In the Park there are approximately 50 artificial ponds, mainly to provide water to game animals and, to a lesser extent, domestic livestock.
In the landscapes of the Natural Park, shaped like pasture and open spaces coexist with ravines and shady slopes; and with the magnificent formations of Mediterranean forest composed of holm oaks, gall oaks, cork oaks and oaks, without forgetting the patches of pine stone vegetation resulting from the repopulations.
The most representative plant formations are:
The pine forests of repopulation, which occupy 21% of the surface. The main species are stone pine and black pine, the first being the most widespread since it occupies 80% of the protected area.
The meadow represents 15%, and the species that compose it are mainly the holm oak, followed by the cork oak and to a lesser extent the quejigo. It is a means of exploitation of considerable importance for cattle, sheep and fighting.
The scrub formations, with or without scattered trees, make up the most abundant vegetation, consisting basically of Kermes oak, mastic, rockrose, juniper and wild jasmine; interspersed with cornicabaras, strawberry trees, gorse and aromatic plants such as rosemary, marjoram, lavender and thyme; which lend their color and their smell to these places to make them, if possible, even more attractive.
The dense formations of Quercus spp. occupy a small area, 4%. The main species are oak, cork oak and moan.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the riparian vegetation, highlighting the suaces, ash trees, alders, sieves, myrtles and oleanders.
Among the plant species to be highlighted are Asplenium billotii and Narcissus assoanus; which are included in the Andalusian Catalog of Endangered Wild Flora Species.
@ Juan Vicente Córcoles de la Vega