Puy Mary and Other Snow-Capped Peaks of the Massif Central, France45.1N 2.6E
The Massif Central is an elevated region in south-central France, consisting of mountains and plateaus. It is situated in the middle of France and it covers 15 percent of the country.
Subject to volcanism that has subsided in the last 10,000 years, these central mountains are separated from the Alps by a deep north-south cleft created by the Rhône River and known in French as the sillon rhodanien (literally “the furrow of the Rhône”).
The Massif Central is a distinct physiographic province of the smaller Central European Uplands division. The entire region contains the largest concentration of extinct volcanoes in the world with approximately 450 volcanoes. One strip alone running north to south and less than 60 square miles (160 km2) contains 115 of them.
Visible as a deep groove in the midst of the snow-capped peaks near the image center is the Pas de Peyrol (el. 1,589 m), a mountain pass located in Auvergne, France. The pass is on the slopes of Puy Mary (1,787 m) and is the highest road pass in the Massif Central.