- Basque Mountains
Geobox | Range
Alluitz, typical limestone mountain of the Basque range
border=Cantabrian Mountains |border1=Pyrenees
area= | length= | length_orientation=
width= | width_orientation=
map_caption=The Basque Mountains are a small
mountain rangesituated in the northern Iberian Peninsula. It is usually considered to be the eastern section of the larger Cantabrian Range. The range runs through the Basque Autonomous Community and western Navarre.
The Basque Mountains are a transitional range between two major ones, the Cantabrian range to the west and the
Pyreneesto the east. Geologistscall the area "The Basque threshold" and some consider that the Cantabrian Mountains and the Pyrenees are a single greater range and the Basque Mountains are just part of both [http://www.minas.upm.es/inicio/FGS/trabajos/05a04.htm] .
There are two parallel sub-ranges running from west to east, the inner one and the coastal one. In between them there is a 500 m high
plateaucalled "Llanada Alavesa" (" AlavaPlains") where Vitoria-Gasteizis located. East of the "Llanada" a narrow valley called "Burunda" and its follow-up "Barranca" (or "Sakana" in Basque) separate the two ranges, with Urbasa- Andialocated to the south and Aralar to the north. The valley harbours major infrastructures linking Vitoria-Gasteizand Pamplona.
The Basque coastal range forms the
water divideof the Mediterraneanand Atlanticbasins, the climate north of the range is milder and oceanic, typical of the so-called green Spain, while to the south of the coastal range and in the inner range winters are cold and snowy and summers drier and hotter than in the northern range, in general the climate in the Basque municipalities south of this range is more Mediterranean with some Continental traits, showing less precipitation and much colder winters than those coastal municipalities north of the range.
snowcover is very irregular during the winter season. From November to April snow cover can be found in the Basque Mountains above 700 m AMSL, but the ever changing weather conditions of the Bay of Biscaycan bring great accumulations of snow and a sudden rise of temperatures can melt it in a few days due to the Foehn windeffect. This sudden melting can cause flooding problems, specially in the plains of northern Alava.
It is a range of moderate height; Aitxuri (1,551 m) in the
Aitzkorri massifis the highest peak.
*In the inner range the main massifs from west to east are:
Sierra Salbada( Orduña)
Gasteiz, the most important is Kapildui(1,177 m)
Urbasa, a 1,000 m high plateau
Andía, with the impressive Beriain(1,493 m)
*In the coastal range its main massifs from west to east are:
Gorbea("Gorbeia") 1,481 m, maximum height of Biscay.
Urkiola, Anboto(1,331 m) being its highest peak.
Altzania, the " Aratz" is the maximum height (1,442 m).
**Aralar, its most known peak being
Txindoki(1,346 m)Other important mountains nearer the sea include Ganekogorta, Oiz, Sollube, Arrate, Kalamuaand Hernio
The range is almost entirely
limestone, but other materials can be found.The slopes are generally gentle, but there are many limestone peaks and cliffs in which vulturesdwell. There is abundant oceanic climatevegetation, like beeches, oaks, birches and other like the Cantabrian Holm Oaks and the Pinus radiata, the last one artificially introduced for plantation.
Geography of Spain
* [http://em.luberri.net/ Basque mountains list]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.