Reflections on Rio Tinto, near its source, Andalusia, Spain
Jean-Philippe Delobelle / Biosphoto
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Río Tinto ("Red River") is very acidic (Ph 2) and has a deep reddish hue due to iron dissolved in water. The acidity of the watercourse is linked to the drainage of pyrite, which is very present in the subsoil. Extremophilic and endemic bacteria and algae colonize the river bed, forming a fragile biofilm that evokes the hot springs of Yellowstone Park in the USA.