CARLOS DOMINGUEZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS DOMINGUEZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Copper mine pollution. Water coloured by mineral ores from the Rio Tinto Mines in Huelva, Andalucia, Spain. This is an opencast mine where ores of copper, iron, silver, and other metals can all be found. The presence of such ores is seen by the range of colours seen in the soil and also in the water. The Rio Tinto is a river that was named for its blood-red colour. The area was mined in Phoenician and Roman times several thousand years ago, but it was not intensively mined until after 1871 when it became an important worldwide source of copper.
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