EUROPEAN PROJECT OF AMPHIBIAN AND AQUATIC REPTILES' HABITAT RECOVERING IN LOW TER WETLANDS

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ENVIRONMENT


The Baix Ter depression is a portion of terrain formed by an extensive plain surrounded by small elevations of the land. Next to the sea and running parallel to the depression there is a small strip of wetlands separated from the sea by the beach.

But it has not always had the same aspect. If we went back in time we would find that, due to a series of caving ins that took place during the Pleistocene, all the area was submerged. It remained like that for thousands of years.

During the last glaciations, approximately 20.000 years ago, the sea level descended until nearly 130m less than the present level. Since then it has increased steadily until 5.000 years ago, when it reached the present level. From the moment the sea level stabilised all the sediments carried by the Ter started getting deposited in the valley, gaining land to the sea until creating what we can actually see:
a flat plain prone to flooding with a high number of ponds and wetlands; the formation of which was favoured by the enormous quantities of sand carried by the tramuntana wind, which created dikes that stopped water from the sea and from flooded areas from entering.

For the last centuries all processes affecting the formation and shaping of the plain have been interrupted by human hands in order to obtain more benefits from the land; wetland drainage, construction of irrigation ditches or re-shaping of watercourses amongst others have ended up creating the actual landscape and will also determine its future evolution.

In short, the present landscape seen in the Lower Ter plain is the result of sedimentary processes developed during the Holocene and cannot be understood without taking into account the eustatic movements of the sea, land movements and, more recently, transformation due mans’ action.