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Sun Sep 29, 2019, 09:32 AM

Drought exposes long-submerged 'Spanish Stonehenge' monument

A 7,000-year-old monument dubbed “Spanish Stonehenge” has been exposed for the first time in 50 years, after drought conditions in western Spain dropped water levels in a manmade lake and revealed the ancient standing stones.

The circle of more than 100 large rocks, known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal, was submerged in 1963 after the Spanish government constructed the Valdecañas Reservoir to feed a hydroelectric dam that still generates power in the region. Occasionally, the tips of the tallest standing stones have been visible as the reservoir’s water levels have changed, but according to NASA, this is the first time that the entire monument has been out of water since the area was flooded to create the lake.

Water levels in the reservoir dropped significantly this summer after two intense heatwaves baked much of Europe. In Spain, June’s hot spell saw seven weather stations record their highest temperatures ever, according to the country’s meteorological agency, with several cities exceeding 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Higher-than-average temperatures and dry conditions were also recorded across Spain in July and August.

NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite snapped pictures of the area on July 25. In a comparison of satellite views taken of the same area in 2013, it’s possible to see the changing coastlines around the Valdecañas Reservoir and more pronounced vein-like features in the water that represent the exposed lake bottom.

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/drought-exposes-long-submerged-spanish-stonehenge-monument-ncna1059691

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