Field Trip to the Rio Tinto in Spain

January 24, 2024 / Dr. Ilka Schwittlinsky

We took a group of international students from the WASTE master program on a week-long field tripto the Rio Tinto in southern Spain.

We kicked off the new year with an exhilarating week-long field trip to Nerva in southwest Spain, accompanied by seven international master's students enrolled in the M.Sc. WASTE program. During the trip, our students immersed themselves in the rich mining history of the Iberian Pyrite Belt and its profound impact on the unique acidic Rio Tinto river.

The hands-on experience involved learning to collect real-time physical data and samples for microbiology and geochemistry from diverse field sites along the Rio Tinto. Daily lectures covered a spectrum of topics, from the origin and geological aspects of the Rio Tinto to the unique acidophiles inhabiting its water and sediment. Students also explored methods for in-situ gas emission determination and delved into the role of the Rio Tinto in early earth and potential martian life studies.

Our journey concluded with a visit to the distinctive Rio Tinto Mining Park and mining company Atalaya. Currently, in collaboration with the students, we are actively processing the numerous samples and data collected from Rio Tinto, unraveling the fascinating insights gained during our field adventure.

Check out our picture gallery for more impressions:

Picture Gallery

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