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M01PSL03 - Dunas da Prainha

 Dunas da Prainha © Brum da Silveira

Geosite ID: M01PSL03

Name: Dunas da Prainha

Thematic category: Sedimentology and Paleontology

Geographical location on orthophotomap - M01PSL03

Municipality: Machico

Civil parish: Caniçal

Location area: 0,1 - 10  ha

Coordinates(1):32°44'42.6'' N 16°42'56.3'' W

Altitude: 60 m

Accessibility: Easy

Distance to nearest paved road: 1 m

Conditions of observation: Good

(1) Coordinates of the geosite and / or the best viewpoint


Brief description

The Dunas da Prainha form a coverage of aeolian sands that ranges from the Middle Pleistocene (200 to 300 thousand years) to the Holocene (8500 to 4500 years B.C.). The sand is composed of bioclasts (shells, calcareous algae, urchin spicules, foraminifera carapace), mineroclasts (rolled olivine and pyroxene grains) and lithoclast (basaltic rock fragments). Despite its marine origins, the deposition and accumulation process is subaerial, as shown by the deposit structure and significant presence of terrestrial gastropod fossils (Pulmonata), whose species were described by Wollaston (1878) and Silva (1957), as well as bird’s bones and eggshells.
In the aeolian deposits it is possible to observe (very fragile) rootcasts as well as pedogenic carbonate horizons (2 facies, one solid and another one powdery).


Relevant notes

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.


How to Cite

BRUM DA SILVEIRA, A.; PRADA, S.; RAMALHO, R.; MADEIRA, J.; FONSECA, P.; CANHA, E.; BRILHA, J. (2012). Inventariação do Património Geológico da Ilha da Madeira. Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e Recursos Naturais - Relatório Final, 414 p. In:

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