Geosite ID: S03
Name: Caldeirão do Inferno
Thematic category: Geomorfology, Water resources and Tectonics
Civil parish: Ilha
Location area: 0,1 -10 ha
Coordinates(1):32°45'59.1'' N 16°56'51.9'' W
Altitude: 1080 m
Distance to nearest paved road: 8000 m
Conditions of observation: Good
(1) Coordinates of the geosite and / or the best viewpoint
In Madeira Island, due to its high relief rainfall regime, and rock nature and structures, there as a strong fluvial erosion that results in deeply embedded and deep valleys.
Caldeirão do Inferno is the best example of a very narrow river gorge, of almost vertical slopes, which resulted from an extreme fluvial erosion process. In this case, the strong fluvial incision occurred along a dyke system whose edges with the embedding rock and intense internal fracturing constituted an area of structural weakness that was exploited by the water’s erosive action.
The permanent streams are fed from groundwater flows, from suspended aquifers that drain through numerous springs, notably copious on the island’s north slope. This abundance of water was in the origin of the construction of Madeira’s network of levadas.
The water captured at Caldeirão do Inferno is transported by the Serra do Faial levada to the charging chamber at Fajã da Nogueira’s hydroelectric power plant. After going through a turbine, it contributes to the Tornos adductor system that supplies the city of Funchal.
Visiting a site of geological interest is the sole responsibility of the user.
The user must take precautions when visiting the site, taking into account the conditions of the terrain, weather conditions and other hazards, so that they do not create situations that put themselves or others at risk.
The user must respect private property. Access to private areas requires prior authorization from the owners.
The user must respect natural heritage, keeping it intact. The impact of your actions should be minimal.