Geosite ID: PSt01
Thematic category: Geomorfology, Sedimentology and Paleontology
Municipality: Porto Santo
Civil parish: Porto Santo
Location area: 10-1000 ha
Altitude: 7 m
Distance to nearest paved road: 70 m
Conditions of observation: Good
(1) Coordinates of the geosite and / or the best viewpoint
Stretching for around 9km, Porto Santo beach is mainly formed by calcareous sand that resulted from the fragmentation of shells, corals and calcareous algae which give it its characteristic yellow colour. Small quantities of dark grains can also be found, which originate from volcanic rocks. The sands result from the erosion of Aeolianites (calcareous sandstones) that occur in the central west region of the island. These deposits cover around 1/3 of the island’s surface and reach a depth of over 40 m at Fonte da Areia. Erosive processes associated with rain and surface runoff towards the south coast of the island are responsible for transporting the sand to the beach.
The sand rests on a rocky base known as lajedo (slab).
Given its physical and chemical properties, the sand has been used in psammotherapy (sand baths) for the treatment of bone and muscular conditions.
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.