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The Pyrenees in Northern Spain

April 2nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Spain - February 24th, 2009

Spain - February 24th, 2009

The Pyrenees are a range of mountains in southwest Europe that form a natural border between France and Spain. They separate the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extend for about 430 km (267 mi) from the Bay of Biscay (Cap Higuer) to the Mediterranean Sea (Cap de Creus).

For the most part, the main crest forms a massive divider between France and Spain, with the tiny country of Andorra sandwiched in between. Catalonia and the Basque Country historically extend on both sides of the mountain range, with smaller northern portions in France and much larger southern parts in Spain.

Physiograpically, the Pyrenees are typically divided into three sections: the Atlantic (or Western), the Central, and the Eastern Pyrenees. Together, they form a distinct physiographic province of the larger Alpine System division.

In the Western Pyrenees the average elevation gradually increases from the west to the east, from the Basque mountains near the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean.

In the Eastern Pyrenees, with the exception of one break at the eastern extremity of the Pyrénées Ariégeoises, the mean elevation is maintained with remarkable uniformity until a sudden decline occurs in the portion of the chain known as the Albères.

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