Microclimate processes characterization of the giant Geode of Pulpí (Almería, Spain): technical criteria for conservation


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April 2006


The giant Geode of Pulpí (Almería, Spain) can be considered as one of the most significant recent mineralogical discoveries in terms of geological heritage. Any tourist exploitation of this mining environment should be sustainable, and the first step is to determine the feasibility of opening the interior of the geode to visitors. To achieve this objective it was necessary to characterize the variation of physical parameters of the air and rock (gypsum crystals) during monitored visits, similar to the hypothetical visits that would occur if the geode were opened to the public. The main environmental impact of a continuous presence of people inside the geode is condensation on the surface of the gypsum crystals as a result of increased temperature and water vapor caused by respiration. The phenomenon of condensation on the gypsum crystals begins to occur with visits of two or three people for longer than 10 min. Condensation on the crystal surface brought about by this human presence could lead to the corrosion of the crystals. The total recovery time required after a visit of this type to resume the initial natural thermal and humidity conditions was 27 h. The results obtained from the environmental monitoring of the geode suggest that it is not feasible to allow visits inside it because of the mechanical impact of the visitors on the crystals and of the risk of condensation of water vapor. Copyright © 2005 Royal Meteorological Society.


Geode, Geological Heritage, Cave Microclimate, Cave Management, Gypsum

Document Type



International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 26, no. 5 (2006-04-01).