Gibraltar Rock represents an alternate name for the Rock of Gibraltar. This wonder of geology also sits in the British territory of Gibraltar, on the Iberian Peninsula.
This magnificent monolith is a property of the United Kingdom, and the marvel lies on the southwestern tip of Europe. It also serves as part of the border with Spain.
A large portion of the upper area also forms a Nature Reserve. This Reserve, along with the flora, fauna, and geology of the region remain enormous tourist favorites. The location became famous as one of the Pillars of Hercules, and the Romans knew it as Mons Calpe.
Gibraltar Rock Geology
Gibraltar Rock forms an enormous promontory composed primarily of limestone. It represents the deeply eroded extension of an overturned fold in the underlying rock strata.
It also forms a peninsula that projects out into the Strait of Gibraltar. Mostly composed of limestone, parts have slowly dissolved over time due to the actions of the water.
This process often forms caves. In the case of Gibraltar Rock, more than 100 caves exist. St. Michael’s Cave remains the best known, and also forms the largest tourist attraction. The monolith measures roughly 1,398 ft (426 m) in height.
Gibraltar Rock Nature Reserve
As of 1993, roughly 40% of the total area of Gibraltar Rock now forms a Nature Reserve, and much of the flora and fauna found there continue to be of conservation importance.
The best known of these remain the Barbary Macaques, with roughly 300 individuals located within the Nature Reserve. This population comprises the only known wild monkey population in Europe.
Other endemic species of prominent interest equal the Barbary Partridges and plant species such as the Gibraltar Candytuft. Gibraltar Rock also serves as a major resting point for large populations of migratory birds.