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Rio Tinto 3

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RIO TINTO MICROTERRACES: Cloudy with particulates and flowing along terraces made of iron oxides, the Rio Tinto in southwestern Spain stretches for over 100km before reaching the Atlantic. Despite its acidic waters and high concentrations of iron and other heavy metals, the river supports an incredible diversity of extremophile microorganisms, including algae and fungi. The rippled features seen here are iron oxide microterraces that formed below an acidic groundwater seep in the Rio Tinto area. Image Credit: Jenn Macalady/Becky McCauley/Hiroshi Hamasaki
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