Relieve

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ITEM 3. SPANISH RELIEF.


GENERAL FEATURES OF RELIEF.


This group contrasted richly diverse and that is Spain has three characteristics:

1. The high average altitude. Spain is 660 meters above sea level, altitude only country in Europe after Switzerland, with 1,300 m. This altitude is not the result of the existence of large and high mountain ranges, but a core set high, the plateau.

2. The peripheral disposition of the reliefs peninsular, which is to be understood in relation to the Plateau and in relation to the outline of the peninsula, whose boundaries are the main mountain ranges Spanish.

  • For the North, C. Cantabrian with altitudes from 1,000 to 2,500 m short distance from the coast.

  • On the east, although the jump is not so sharp, you have to save the steps of the C. Ibérica. NW, C. Coastal-Catalan, modest altitude, parallel to the sea, which form a wall that isolates the interior plains of the Ebro

  • In the south, the Betic stand along the coast, surpassing the 3,000 m in S ª Nevada.

This implies:

  1. Plateau isolation, difficult access to the Central Highlands, both as regards communication as a climatic influence of the sea

  2. rivers originating in these mountain ridges are forced to save in a short steep slopes, becoming torrential and are endowed with great erosive force employed in digging deep gorges.

  3. The compact and solid of the Iberian Peninsula. Around it there are no large grooves to facilitate the penetration from the coast of the sea breeze, which limits the thermoregulatory action of the sea and leads to the interior is a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. Only Galicia, has few notches.


TRAINING AND THE RELIEF lithological variety.


The present relief of the Peninsula is the result of a long geological evolution which have alternated orogenic phases (the peninsula is affected by the Hercynian orogeny during the Paleozoicand the Alps during the Tertiary) with other calm during the Mesozoic, dominated the erosion and sedimentation.

  • Primary or Paleozoic Era (300 million years ago). Of the seas that covered much of the peninsula there is the end of the folding Hespérico.al Massif, in the Carboniferous period average erosion destroys these new reliefs, making peneplain.

  • Secondary Era (200 million years ago) was a quiet period dominated erosion and sedimentation of material torn from the Palaeozoic land eroded, because the landmasses were arranged in two continental areas Laurasia and Gondwana, between them, the sea Thetis. Also produced marine transgressions and regressions.

  • The tertiary (65 million years) is a very complex and was active. Alpine orogenesis occurred.

    1. The collision of the board of the African plate collision against the Eurasian results: Pyrenees, Betic and Coastal Catalana.

    2. Old and brittle materials from the center and west of the peninsula, is fragmented into giant blocks (Horst and graben) lifting the Central System and Montes de Toledo.

    3. At the edges, the Cantabrian, Iberian and socket flex resulting in Sierra Morena

    4. The plateau is tilted towards the West, prioritizing the hydrographic network.

    5. . At the foot of the beds are formed depressions, ancient sea gulfs or inlets that clogs since the late Tertiary onwards.

    6. It closes the Strait of Gibraltar, isolating the Mediterranean, which will open a million years later, finally separating Europe and Africa.

    7. The Alpine ripping emerging Atlantic seafloor volcanic rocks that originated in the Canary Islands.

  • In the Quaternary (one or two million years to the present) we are facing another period of erosion, so it dominates the modeling of the orogeny. The most striking phenomena were the glaciers and the formation of river terraces. The glaciation affected the highest mountain ranges leading to glacial cirque and valley, and when the ice melted resulted in small lakes.

On the Peninsula are three major lithologic zones, which correspond to structural areas of training and history different

The silica Iberia (Spain Western) occupies the western third of the peninsula: the base of the Plateau, the Galician Massif, Central System, the Montes de Toledo and Sierra Morena plus some points in the axial zone of the Pyrenees, the high peaks Sierra Nevada and isolated nuclei of the Iberian. Structurally, this area is consistent withIberia of ancient massifs. Therefore consists of materials and some Hercynian Paleozoic-Precambrian as granite, gneiss, quartzite, slate, marble, etc..

This results in material ways failed, but always very eroded. Thus we find, peneplain, plateaus.

Iberia is made up of limestone to be folded Mesozoic sediments in the Tertiary, the limestone soils on the mainland are inverted Z extends Pyrenees, Basque Mountains, the Iberian eastern part of the Cantabrian Mountains, Iberian System, part of the Catalan Coastal Range and the Betic Cordilleras. Dominated by limestone, but also abundant conglomerates, sandstones and marls.

Structurally, it corresponds to modern ridges formed during the Alpine Orogeny. They are therefore characterized by large relief heights and sharp and slopes.

The topography of the area comes from the characteristics of the limestone. This is a hard rock, hence the rivers form deep gorges, but it is a permeable rock, resulting in a typical karst landscape (stalactites, stalagmites, sinkholes, ...)

Iberia clayey sedimentary materials formed by very low resistance to erosion as clay, marl, gypsum, etc.. that were deposited at the end of the Tertiary and during the Quaternary. The clay area extends inland sedimentary basins of the Douro, Tagus and Guadiana, and external depressions, Ebro and Guadalquivir, interior basins of the Betic Cordilleras, the central plains plains of North and South-Mediterranean coastal floodplains.

The terrain is basically horizontal clay plains and moors as they are areas not affected by subsequent folding and are rapidly eroded by the softness of their materials, therefore, in the semi-arid erosion can result in a dense network of gullies and ravines known as badlands.

The topography is characterized by a gently rolling landscape. It is the landscape of countryside, sandy-clayey, very good for agriculture, which has its flagship model in the provinces of Cordoba and Seville.


RELIEF UNITS IN SPAIN.


The highlight of Spain is grouped into three sets morphostructural.

  1. Ancient massifs, composed of medium-altitude mountains, summits flattened and occasionally reduced to peneplain, as befits the great erosive action they have experienced in the course of geological time. Theconstituent materials are Paleozoic Hercynian orogeny bending and deformed by the Alpine folding. Form the base of the relief peninsular and were subjected to a rejuvenation as a result of Alpine folding. Provides examples highlight apalachense.


  1. Alpine ranges, emerging after the last major folding and materials formed by young people, mainly limestone. Integrated in the area of large mountain ranges that surround the Mediterranean in all its banks (Alps, Apennines, Carpathians, Caucasus, Atlas, ...) and find their best performances in the Pyrenees and the Betic Cordilleras, which are formed by compression of the plates on the materials deposited in the Tethys Sea


  1. Depressions. There are two types:

  • Interior: Fragments of the old sunken basement in which have been filled by the sediments, the best examples are the Duero and La Mancha.

  • Affairs. Those between the borders of ancient massifs and the Alpine ranges, occupying former marine bays and inlets, also colmated by the sediments in this case the Alpine ranges from newly emerging, high-altitude, soft materials and therefore, easy to erode. Are the depressions of the Ebro and Guadalquivir.


Plateau and internal units.


Plateau.

Constitutes the original core and fundamental part of the Iberian sun (45%). Ranks O. of P. Iberian and is tilted in this direction by 0.3%. Their average height exceeds 600 meters and is divided into two halves by the Central System. To the north is the central plains, with an average altitude over 700 meters and houses the Duero basin. To the south lies the southern sub-plateau of moderate altitude (about 600 m) and divided, in turn, into two halves by the Montes de Toledo, who stand between the Tagus and Guadiana rivers. Submit material Paleozoic Hercynian, which were reduced to peneplain in the Mesozoic by the effects of erosion and was affected by the alpine:

  1. The fracture and individually in blocks, some of which were raised and others sank. (They rise and sink ridges depression)

  2. The folds of the outer edges.

  3. The scale of the Atlantic Ocean basin restructuring the network, which once took to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic will now.


The indoor units.


The end result of the orogenic evolution analyzed was the identification of relief units hitherto non-existent in the interior of the plateau, which were implemented in the form of ridges (Central and Montes de Toledo) or in the form of depressions (Duero basin and La Mancha).

  • Central System

It consists of a chain of mountains that stretches along 400 km wide and 35-40. Stand the mountains, Guadarrama, Gredos, Peña de France and, in Portugal, Serra da Estrela. And in the east: Somosierra, Ayllón, Oak Grove

The mountain ranges correspond to fragmented blocks socket Sites in a system of Horst (high block) and record (hollow blocks caused by the Alpine folding. Among those hills stand or ports that facilitate communication between the two sub-plateau.

The rocks are constituents of the Primary Era, Paleozoic, and abounds including granite, slate s, gneiss and other siliceous composition in the western and the eastern Mesozoic material (quartzite, shale hard)

The diversity of shapes corresponds to the model produced by the glaciers in these mountains over 1,500 m, which have resulted in circuses, lagoons, criminal and Navas, wetlands and resulting in relief as spectacular as the Manzanares Pedriza , Peña de Gredos, ...

Presents scarce mineral resources: granite, slate, some silver and tin.

  • Montes de Toledo

Mountains are as minor as its maximum height is 1.600m. Its formation is similar to the Central System (materials Paleozoic Hercynian affected by the Alpine), but its geological complexity is higher. Their summits do not exceed 1600 meters, highlighting Guadalupe, Montanchez, San Pedro, Mussel, Pocito, Calderin.).

Abundance of slate and quartzite, hard and very resistant to erosion. The relief apalachense, quartzite ridges or depressions alternating with hard materials, it is because of differential erosion. In the foothills have accumulated deposits of irregular-sized materials, called frogs (quartzite cobbles)


  • Depressions and plains of the interior of the Plateau

Cuenca del Duero and La Mancha plain, arising from the sinking of the basement in and subsequent clogging of these depressions. Sedimentation took place in late Tertiary age, once the Alpine folding, hence the layers retain the horizontal with which they were deposited. Today there are extensive plains whose horizons are the moors, limestone crusts on the surface of clay and loam down and worked erosion resulting slopes, hills and countryside witness or buttes.

Mountain ridges of the plateau.


The plateau is surrounded everywhere except on the west by mountain ranges that surround and isolate the influence of the ocean, giving the character a sharp continental land. The ridges that comprise it are:

  • Galician Massif and the Montes de León.

Primitive base of the plateau formed by granite and metamorphic rocks.

Plateau closed by NO, leaving Galicia between the Plateau and the ocean.

The surface of these two mountain is crossed by:

  1. network failures, among which are the north-south orientation ranging from coast to the interior height to be gaining alignment called dorsal Galician mountains, whose highest peak is Manzaneda head.

  2. and the cross, which has led to the estuaries. The sea gets about 25-30 miles on them and fall in Rías Altas and Bajas from Finisterre.

Regarding the Montes de Leon, it is noteworthy that their summits rise above 2000 meters.; Teleno (2200m), second (2000m) ... ... has a smoother profile in the Plateau and is composed of materials Paleozoic Hercynian , Carboniferous deposits, so that mineral resources are found in El Bierzo (León): coal, coal, lignite, as well as gold, iron, ... ....

As for the modeling we will say that the higher altitudes contains important traces of glaciation. Amongst these Sanabria Lake, the largest Spanish-glacial lake, a major center of park and cultural landmark.

It is now being eroded by rainfall own climate and dense vegetation obscures the rock, except at high altitudes.


  • The Cantabrian Mountains.

STEMI is elborde northern and extends from Galicia to the Basque Country over 480 Km of peaks aligned parallel to the Cantabrian Sea. Some of these peaks reach the 2,600 km to the west, while the E. are around 1,500 km.

Presents a great asymmetry being the face that gives the smoothest Plateau, since the slope overlooking the sea the slope is large, more than 1,000 m in 40 km, with the consequent effect on the rivers and the climate as a a wall that makes communication between the coast and inland areas, hindering the access of moist air masses into the mainland and forming a climatic barrier that marks the division between wet and dry Spain.

Under its apparent unity lies a domestic variety, distinguishing:

  1. The western or Spaniard, who has affinity with the Galician Massif, as it also emerged during the Hercynian orogeny. It consists of Palaeozoic materials (quartzite, slate) and other Carboniferous period, when they formed the coal seams that outcrop to the fracture in the alpine and even today mining. Raised gradually to the east, the sector ends with the Picos de Europa, where high altitude: ... presents Bulmes Naranjo Carboniferous limestone so there karstic relief

The more resistant rocks such as quartzite ridges are reaching the coast, into the sea, forming strands. On the boards, something softer long valleys have been excavated by the estuaries.

  1. The central sector of the range, which extends over Cantabria. Consists of materials from the Secondary Era folded during the Alpine Orogeny. These are sediments that were in deep sea. Are Mesozoic limestones and lead to milder forms of relief and less complexity than the Asturias, but it also has peaks that exceed 2000 meters. Híjar eg, Peña Labra, Peña Prieta ... ... ....

  2. The Basque Mountains, which extend between the Cantabrian and Pyrenees. Folded Mesozoic materials are more alpine than in the Cantabrian since here the sediments were more abundant. His little resistance to erosion has formed a soft and wavy. Culminate in Aitzgorri, Aralar and Peña Gorbea, who have about 1000m high. Reach the coast forming cliffs alternating with beaches redondeadas.Los river estuaries and inlets have opened.

  • The Iberian.

The eastern edge of the Mesta is occupied by the Iberian. Among the most salient features of this range stands out as the only major Spanish mountain system that is oriented from northwest to southeast. It extends from the southern foothills of the Cantabrian Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea, ending in the east of the Duero basin and the plains of La Mancha.

Its origin is related to the original slope of the plateau to the east, allowing the accumulation of large amounts of sediment in this direction and the strength of Alpine folding, which resulted in a mountain range in which the overburden material folded sedimentary Paleozoic rests on the base.

During his career there are two parts bounded by the river Jalón, a tributary of the Ebro along which the routes connecting the valley of the Ebro to the Plateau.

The northern part has large mountain ranges (Demand, Onion, Urbión, Moncayo), which add to its orographic importance, their status as core water dispersant to the basins of the Duero and Ebro

This part consists of Paleozoic and sedimentary materials as they are part of the materials deposited in the sea. The glaciation affected leading to the circus and lakes, and the Laguna Negra.

The southern part of the range is wider and less precise shape and alignment, in it there are two separate branches of the river Jiloca:

  1. an indoor or meseteña, with mountains as Albarracín or Serrania de Cuenca, where marine limestones has resulted in karstic relief: sinkholes, gorges ....

  2. and an outer or Aragonese, with mountains as Javalambre Gúdar

  3. Depression among Iberian or Hall L ongitudinal Calatayud-Teruel, rellena.Los rift Mesozoic land is basically marine limestones, and despite its folded structure, are crossed by a series of faults that resemble this sector to the stands in an amphitheater phased down south to finally sink beneath the waters of the Mediterranean.

  • Sierra Morena.

It occupies the southern edge of the plateau. Its materials are Palaeozoic Hercynian and hosting reefs and metal deposits that brought fame to its mining.

This is actually a socket flexion produced by the Alpine, so it's a fake mountain.

Its importance as a mountain range has more to his character and his continuing straight along over 400 km long that their low altitude, it reaches only 1323 meters in the Sierra Madrona, but inside it conveys a marked sense of relief.

We distinguish 3 parts: the West, between Huelva and Sevilla, the plant, between Cordoba and Jaen and eastern Jaén from where it unique natural step Despeñaperros.

Offers a remarkable case of asymmetry between its northern and southern slopes, specified in the step to be saved to access it from the plateau or from the Guadalquivir valley, almost unnoticeable in the first case and very pronounced in the second.

Units outside the plateau.


Out of the Plateau are located relief units to which, because of its geographical position, call external systems. Are ridges and troughs whose training began in the early Tertiary. Ridges emerged as a result of the Alpine orogeny, which folded and did emerge sediments deposited during the Secondary Era north and south of old clumps. The depressions correspond to the pits alpine established between the current training systems and the edge of the Paleozoic base.

Are integrated into two major groups:

  1. northern one, formed by the Pyrenees, the Cordillera Costero-Catalana and depression of the Ebro

  2. and one South, comprising the Betic Cordilleras and depression of the Guadalquivir.

    • The Pyrenees.

Occupy the isthmus peninsula from the Bay of Biscay to Cape Creus. They extend over 435 km and form a robust and compact mountain barrier which is a very clear border geographical implications. Alpine is a mountain range for its structure and its geological landforms.

Inside there are two areas:

  1. The axial Pyrenees. It is the powerhouse of the guideline range. Compose your frame and extends longitudinally by a band of Palaeozoic materials (slate, granite) that are remnants of an ancient Hercynian massif disappeared and lithological composition justifies the central Pyrenees Iberia integrate silica.

Presents the highest peaks: Aneto (3400m), Delighted (2700).

Has not been flattened by erosion of the Pliocene and Quaternary.

  1. The Pyrenees, which is attached to its southern flank. (They are either side of the Pyrenean axial) is composed of Mesozoic limestone and decomposed into two separate mountain ranges, in turn, by a longitudinal depression:

    • Mountain ranges

This is Cretaceous limestone materials. The rivers have cut across the mountains in gorges.

Karstic reliefs show and its highest peaks were affected by the glaciation that shaped cirques, trough valleys and the Ordesa and Belagua

  • External Sierras

It extends the area of Navarre, Aragon and Lerida. Its most important summits are Leyre (Navarra), Loarre (Huesca) Montsec (Catalonia), and contact the Ebro valley

  • Media Intrapirenáica depression or Berdún Channel.

Depression neem. Several depressions together, perpendicular to the axis of the Cordillera. No passes.

Modeling: Quaternary glaciation resulted in the tongues of ice to die fill in valleys at 700-800 m altitude, cirques and valleys excavated by U-trough, digging buckets and form lakes, mountain lakes and lakes (in Catalonia) .

It also presents phenomena of volcanism in Part E of the Andes (region of Olot).

The range presents an almost total absence of longitudinal valleys and the prevalence of cross-oriented from north to south, which are the work of embedding depth of the river network.

  • The Cordillera Costero-Catalana.

Close the Ebro basin to the southeast. Is oriented from northeast to southwest and extends along 250 km, contacting the Pyrenees and the Iberian. Despite its modest status as a mountain range, offers a remarkable complexity arising from its transverse and longitudinal fragmentation.

Geomorphological, the range is split into two units at the height of Barcelona: The northern half is composed of Paleozoic old materials (slate, granite), remnants of an ancient Hercynian massif eroded in the Mesozoic and fractured in the Alps. While half the r it is folded Mesozoic limestones in the Alps.

Morphostructural breaks down into three units parallel to each other and with respect to the Mediterranean:

  1. the coastal mountain range, which is the immediate alignment of the coast, close and 150 km in length from north of Tarragona Girona and contains, among others, the mountains of Tibidabo

  2. Prelitoral depression, graben filled by tertiary and quaternary materials. Runs from Girona to Tarragona by a geographical area of great significance for its agricultural importance, demographically and economically, it is an area of gentle hills and fertile valleys, Penedes, Tarragona Country

  3. and pre-coastal mountain range, (250 Km) and in direct contact with the lands of the Ebro valley, where the higher elevations of the whole (Montserrat, etc.).

    • Ebro Depression

Includes the lowlands of northeastern Spain, close to the Mediterranean by the Catalan Coastal Range.Its origin and geomorphological evolution are associated with the mountain systems of its outline. Initially it was a stretch of sea where communication with the ocean was broken as the reliefs Alpine folding rose Iberian and Pyrenees. Since the mid-Tertiary age was reduced to a lake in which were deposited excavated materials erosion of the newly formed mountains and rivers transported through the different levels.

Transported materials were deposited selectively according to their thickness, placing the finest in the center of the depression and thicker near the coastline. Then, the process of erosion has led to the appearance of tables or wheels, as the Sierra de Alcubierre, while the edges are associated landforms powerful conglomerates and banks, in areas where nature is rocky loamy or gypsum, known as the bad lands and bad lands.


As for the second set are:

  • Béticos Systems.

They range from the Strait of Gibraltar to Cape La Nao. Constitute the largest mountain system in the Peninsula, the younger, longer and more complex geology.

Emerged in the second half of the Tertiary as the folding or alpine displacement of the African plate against the base of the plateau, squeezed the powerful banks Mesozoic sediments deposited in the Tethys Sea. This large thickness is reached alternating limestone and marl, which explains the thrust nappes and folds that the mountains are allochthonous. The Alpine Orogeny folded and sank Betics Guadalquivir region, transforming it into pit. in the Pliocene Gibraltar opens.

It extends to the Balearic Islands by sea and North Africa by the Rif. Bordered on the north Iberian System, La Mancha and the Guadalquivir depression.

Units presents this range:

  • Penibética Cordillera, coastal, inner ridge that rises abruptly to the coastal mountain ranges and contains the highest peaks: Ronda and Sierra Nevada, among others. In the latter are the highest points of the system: Mulhacén (3478m), Veleta and the Sierra de Ronda, Almijara, Gador, Filabres. In Sierra Nevada is an outcropping Paleozoic or lens, "tectonic window." Here we find folds that have been moved to 80 and 90 km from their place of origin and results in areas such as the Alpujarras, where the Paleozoic basement is exposed.

Glaciation affected the Sierra Nevada, although Debian is glacial l. Are glacial lakes, snow fields.

  • Subbética Cordillera, exterior, and north of the Penibética. It has a clear southwest-northeast and extends from Cadiz to Alicante for the mountains of Grazalema, Harana, Mágina, Cabra, Cazorla, Segura and La Sagra. Prebetic continues to coming to La Nao: Aitana, Mariola, .. Among the materials aboundMesozoic limestones and marls, under which relief karst formed, of which the most representative is the Torcal de Antequera. Is later than the Penibética, younger (formed later in the same Tertiary)


  • Between the two sets lies Intrabético depression or groove, a series of depressions extending inland from Antequera to Baza, to Loja, Granada and Guadix. About 250 km of soft materials: clay, marl, sand, sandstone, limestone.

  • The depression of the Guadalquivir.

It occupies the space that lies between the Betic Cordilleras and Sierra Morena. It's a wide open triangular depression in the Atlantic Ocean, which is influenced by sea. Is crossed by the Guadalquivir River, which offers the feature of not passing for the center of the depression, but rather tied to Sierra Morena, which is indicative of its formation.

Initially, the depression was a stretch of sea sediment obtained input from the Betic Cordilleras and the Sierra Morena. Since both systems have different features mountain height, age and hardness of materials, the rivers coming down from the mountains béticas most sediment transported as those in Sierra Morena, in this way was causing the displacement of the maximum depth to the north and in it sat the riverbed.

The most characteristic forms of depression of the Guadalquivir are the meadows, gently rolling plains that have been exploited since ancient land. Furthermore, downstream of Seville, and very low height above sea level, lie the marshes, wetlands whose status was one of the main arguments for the declaration of Doñana National Park.

Relieves island.

The islands offer two distinct types of relief. The Balearic Islands are closely related with the relief mainland, while the Canaries are completely independent, both for its location as its volcanic character.

Balearic Islands.

Are geographical extension of the Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea via the Cape of La Nao, because, except on the island of Menorca, the archipelago is a continuation of the Betic Cordilleras, and attested by its geological structure, the nature of their age materials and training.


It is in Mallorca, because of its size, which are best represented the original character of the relief. These are synthesized in the presence of two mountain ranges and an interior depression: the northwest lies the Sierra de Tramontana, which contains the highest elevation of the archipelago (Puig Major, 1445 m) to the southeast lies the mountain called Levante and between them, the central plain.

The island of Menorca is different from the rest of the archipelago because of its links with the Catalan Coastal Range, made apparent in the nature of the rocky and even, in its particular shape and orientation.

Canary Islands.

Located on the Atlantic Ocean, have a volcanic character shared with other islands of the ocean, such as Iceland and the Azores. Its origin must be related to volcanic emissions that occurred in the mid-Tertiary, when the Alpine Orogeny breaks the seafloor magmatic material and emerge through fractures in the area of friction between the African plate and the oceanic crust

The islands are aligned under two dominant directions, northeast-southwest and southeast-northwest, and offer common feature mountainous character. Rise from the deep sea to a considerable height, which, together with its clean air, has been tapped for the installation of major astronomical observatories. Its highest point is Mount Teide, with 3710 meters of altitude is the highest mountain in Spain.

The rocky volcanic nature, the abundance of basalt, the greater tuberosity and phonolitic and large involved in mountain slopes have resulted in spectacular landforms. Among these include boilers and volcanic craters, the pins or lava rocks that erosion has exposed or the Badlands, resulting from the solidification of lava.

COASTS

Regarding grounds for the relief comes to the costs.

The coast is the space boundary between land and sea constantly transformed by ocean currents, waves, abrasion and fluctuations of sea level.

The Spanish coast have no windings and recesses, with few exceptions, hence the massive character of the Peninsula.

We divided the coast into the following sections:

  • Cantabrian coast. Straight, with cliffs and beaches as the Cordillera few parallels to the sea. Landforms found: ends as Machichaco, Garlic and Peñas and estuaries.

  • Galician coast. Clipped by the existence of estuaries and river valleys. Are called Rías Altas, north of Finisterre and Rias south of Finisterre.

  • Atlantic coast. Low, sandy. From the mouth of the Guadiana to Trafalgar. This area includes wetlands, clogging the Roman Ligustinus Lacus.

  • Mediterranean coast. It extends from the tip of Tarifa to France distinguishing between the following sectors:

    • Betis: straight from Gibraltar to Cabo de Gata it corresponds to the range Penibética, which runs parallel to the sea and sinking to off Cape Palos. From here to the NAO is influenced by the groove formed by the incoming Intrabético Gulf of Alicante. To the North, with the alignments prebetic Subbética have shaped the ends of the Nao and San Antonio.

    • Valencian coast, from La Nao to the wide Ebro delta plain which descends to the sea from the Iberian mountain range and which highlights the Albufera of Valencia. On the coast there are many raffles, rocky islands joined to the mainland by sandy isthmus.

    • Catalan coast. Diferente along its 552 km Welcomes the Ebro Delta (Tarragona), great alluvial plain, triangular, elongated E O. pools and lagoons abound and the instability of abandoned meandering channel provokes ancient arms. Formed after the last glacial period.

La Costa Brava Girona is steep and straight. Due to the low dynamics of sea water, in the recesses there are small beaches surrounded by rocky outcrops.