Large units morfoestructurales

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Morphostructural UNITS OF RELIEF

PLATEAU: peninsular fundamental unit of relief: high plains, rest of the Hesperian Massif: the Hercynian orogeny was primary, ravaged by erosion and become base or plateau. In the tertiary deformed and partially destroyed during the Alpine orogeny. Within it we differentiate:

The old basement in: west today. Granite, slate and quartzite. Terrain:

Peneplain, which are very smooth surfaces of erosion, with little difference in height between the valleys and watersheds.

Montes island or residual relief: part of the mountain away by erosion, revealing the toughest part.

Mountain ranges of the plateau, the central system and mountains of Toledo.

Tertiary Alpine orogeny as a result. Granite, slate and gneiss. They have soft peaks.

Central system: strong. Divides the plateau into two. The most prominent mountains are Somosierra, Guadarrama, Gredos, Peña de Francia and Gata.

Montes de Toledo: lower altitude. Divides the southern sub-plateau. Sierra More importantly, Guadalupe.

The sedimentary basins of the plateau interior: Tertiary: Alpine orogeny caused failures and the collapse of blocks that were first lake and then were filled with Tertiary sediments. Resulted in moors, meadows and hills:

Moors: small plateau. Structural surfaces flat and high, crowned by a limestone layer more resistant to erosion. They are located in the northern and eastern basin of the central plains north and east of the southern sub-plateau.

The countryside, gently rolling lowlands traversed by rivers that form in the highlands have been eroded.

The slopes, steep areas between moors and countryside.

Northern sub-plateau basin: highest (800m approx.) And uniform. Belongs to any one watershed (Duero). Almost entirely enclosed by mountains.

Southern sub-plateau basin: lower (500 - 700 m approx.). Injured in the middle of the mountains of Toledo, which divide into two river basins (Tagus and Guadiana). It opens to the Atlantic.


They are the solid Galician-Leonese, the Cantabrian Mountains, Iberian System and Sierra Morena: Tertiary block the rejuvenation of the plateau or the folding of the material deposited by the sea in the secondary was the edges of the plateau .

Galician Massif - Leon: Northwest corner of the base of the plateau during the Alpine orogeny broke and rejuvenated. Formed by Palaeozoic materials and features rounded low-lying mountains, cut by numerous faults.

Cantabrian Mountains: two distinct areas:

West Sector: Asturian massif: Paleozoic materials. They were part of the socket and rejuvenated in the Alpine orogeny. Far East: primary limestone: higher peaks as peaks in Europe.

Eastern sector: secondary materials limestone. The secondary was. Folded in the Alpine orogeny.

The Iberian: intermediate range consists largely of materials deposited by the sea side on the eastern edge of the base of the plateau, which folded in the Alpine orogeny.

Sierra Morena: abrupt step that separates the plateau of the Guadalquivir valley. Paleozoic rocky dark like vegetation (jara). Give his name.


Are depression of the Ebro and the Guadalquivir. Were pre-Alpine basins or ditches. After the tertiary orogeny were found between pre-Alpine mountains and ancient massifs. Triangular shape. Filled by sediments. Your funds are gradually sank during the Tertiary. Today there are nearly horizontal reliefs.

The Ebro basin: parallel to the Pyrenees, enclosed by them, by the Iberian and the Coastal Range - Catalana. Is where he was the oldest of the Ebro massif, eroded and sunken rose as the alpine mountain ranges that border it. Ranked first sea and then closed the lake to the late Tertiary. He made his way through the Coastal Range - Catalan to the sea. So marine and continental deposits. The different hardness and arid climate gives rise to different relief:

Foothills and ski mountains, plains, slightly inclined, among the hills outside and the center of the depression.

Mallos or rocky towers individually by erosion.

Wheels or flat: badlands on limestone and soft materials due to aridity.

The depression of the Guadalquivir, parallel to the Betic Cordilleras. First opened to the sea. He became a landlocked lake or lagoon. Later in swampy marshes and dunes. Arise:

Gently rolling countryside.

Mesas and mountains witness or hillsides.


The Pyrenees, the Basque Mountains, the Coastal Cordillera - Catalana and the Betic Cordilleras: Alpine orogeny.

The Pyrenees. Structure:

The axial zone: Paleozoic rocky massif n old Hercynian orogeny in the Alpine rejuvenated. Highest area is steep. Pico Aneto 3404 m.

The Prepyrenees less tall and soft shapes. Older.

The mean depression: long and narrow depression that separates the indoor and outdoor pre-Pyrenean mountains.

The Basque Mountains: extend the Pyrenean foothills. Rocky limestone, low height and smooth shapes.

The Coastal Range - Catalana: transformation of the eastern Pyrenees, separated from these by faults, which have given rise to volcanic region (Olot).

The northern half Palaeozoic materials raised in the Alpine orogeny. Limy southern half side.

Divided into two teams: one along the coast and other low-lying interior higher. Separated by a longitudinal depression or graben resulting in relief of soft hills and valleys.

The Betic Cordilleras: great geological complexity and the higher elevations of the peninsula (Mulhacén). Two different groups:

Subbética Cordillera, in the interior. Hard secondary materials that give rise to folded thrust nappes and folds allochthonous, ie horizontally displaced.

The ridge Penibética: along the coast. Palaeozoic materials raised in the Alpine orogeny. Higher: Mulhacén in Sierra Nevada.

Depression Intrabético: between the two mountain ranges. Fragmented into several small depressions that lead to the landscape of badlands, given the arid climate.

Origin of the Canary Islands

It is known that the origin of the islands are of volcanic origin and the ocean floor. Are not sure how it originated these volcanoes, there are theories to the volcanic past but have since been overturned, which are:

Drift theory of continental blocks: at first the earth's crust forming a single unit: Pangea. With the passage of time shifted and split to form the continents. The Canary Islands the rim fragment of the African continent.

Theory of the expansion of the seabed, the ocean floors are continually separated from narrow crevices that are centered in the mountains in the ocean basins. This expansion resulted in the archipelago.

Theory of plate tectonics: the land divided into a number of lithospheric plates moving or producing compression, distention and landslides.

Before, there was the Atlantic Ocean as South America and Africa broke away and formed the Atlantic, the Canaries were disjoined.

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