highest mountain range in europe

highest Mountains

mountain range in europe

Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus gets the title of highest in Europe. Another, perhaps better known, peak is Mont Blanc. It is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union. Its elevation is 15,781 feet (4,810 m) above sea level.

Scottish Highlands

Location:Mountain in the United Kingdom

  • The Grampian Mountains are the highest in the British Isles, their tallest peak being Ben Nevis, at 4,413 ft (1,345m).

The Scottish Highlands are part of the Caledonian Mountains—an ancient, much larger mountain chain that was formed in a series of events called the Caledonian Orogeny (see panel, left). They include the Northwest Highlands and the Grampians—which are separated by a 60-mile- (100-km-) long fault called the Great Glen Fault—as well as the mountainous islands of western Scotland.

Volcanic remnants Scattered among the highlands are remnants of past volcanic activity. Ben Nevis was once a large volcano that collapsed in on itself following an eruption 350 million years ago.

The highlands have a characteristic rugged appearance. Forest still covers some areas, providing a home to wildlife such as the capercaillie, pine marten, and wildcat.

Some highland subranges, such as the Cairngorms, are made of granites formed from solidification of magma underground, later exposed by erosion.

The Ural Mountains

  • Though their average height is 300 m yet their highest peak is about 1,638 m high.

• These mountains separate Asia from Europe in athe east • From north to south, these are 2,200 km long and 80-120 km broad with many parallel valleys.

The Scandinavian Mountains

The Scandinavia consists of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In fact Scandinavia exists or fenno-Scandia which continues into the east through Finland to Kola Peninsula in Russia.

The Old Mountain Blocks

These are Hercynian and Caledonian mountain chains.

In the west the Meseta of Spain, the Central Plateau of France, the Britanny Peninsula, the Rhine Upland, the Block Forest, Vosges, Bohemian Plateau and Rhodope Mt etc, are examples of these old mountains.

The Alpine Mountain Ranges

The highest peak is (Mount Blanc 5,000 m). The mountain range runs in many branches. The main ones are the Alps, the Carpathians, the Balkans, the Caucasus etc.

The glaciers that once covered these peaks sculpted out enormous amphitheatre-like cirques (mountain hollows), sharp arêtes (knifelike ridges), and majestic pyramidal peaks such as the Matterhorn on the Swiss–Italian border and Austria’s highest mountain, Grossglockner.

Another branch is the Apennines (Italy, the Atlas (Africa and the Sierra Nevada Spain). Still another branch is the Dinaric and the Pindus mountain (Yugoslavia and Greece) and enters through the Crete island into Asia.Shaped by glaciers The current landscape of the Alps is a result of glaciation over the past 2 million years.

As the glaciers melted, they left behind some SUBRANGES OF THE ALPS The Alps contain many subranges, some of which are mapped below. The loftiest are the Pennine Alps, which contain 13 of the highest 20 alpine peaks; the Bernese Alps contain four; and the Mont Blanc Massif in the Graian Alps has three. U-shaped valleys, immense waterfalls pouring from hanging valleys, and elongated lakes of great depth. The longest remaining glacier is the Aletsch.

European playground The Alps include famous mountains such as Mont Blanc on the French–Italian border, the Matterhorn, and the Eiger in Switzerland, whose north face has long been considered one of the world’s climbing challenges.

During summer, the region attracts mountaineers and people who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding. Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding are also popular.

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The Pyrenees

  • The Pyrenees are half as long and broad as the Alps and separate broadly France from Spain. The highest peak is Pice de Aneto (3,404 m).

The Pyrenees mainly formed in the last 55 million years (see panel, below). Over time, the uplifted land was eroded, resulting in a series of parallel mountain ranges, together with some flat-topped massifs, that in places reach over 10,000ft (3,000m) in height. Steep valleys and waterfalls There are only a few places where the Pyrenees can be crossed through passes lower than 6,600 ft (2,000m).

They contain some of Europe’s most spectacular waterfalls, the highest of which, at the Cirque de Gavarnie, plunges 1,385 ft (422m). Major rivers, such as the Garonne of France and tributaries of the Ebro of Spain, flow out of the mountains. Wildlife in the region includes the rare lammergeier vulture, eagles, chamois, wild boars, and a small population of brown bears.

During the last ice age, the Pyrenees experienced extensive glaciation. The mountains are characterized by jagged peaks that are steepest on the French side.

The Dolomites

Pale mountains The Dolomites are named after an 18th-century French mineralogist, Deodat de Dolomie, who was the first to describe the rock—dolomite—from which they are largely made. Dolomite is similar to limestone and typically white, cream, or light gray. Because of this, the Dolomites are also known as the Pale Mountains. Their highest peak is Marmolada at 10,968 ft (3,343 m).

A subrange of the Alps, the Dolomites consist of multiple layers of sedimentary rock, thousands of feet thick, that originally formed as coral reefs in shallow seas hundreds of millions of years ago. Later, these rock layers were lifted up as a result of tectonic plate movements, then eroded by glaciers to form the dramatic landscape seen today. The mountains are renowned for the fossils of coral reef animals they contain.

The spectacular scenery draws numerous climbers, skiers, paragliders, and hikers. One face of Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites, is a near- vertical cliff 2,000 ft (600 m) high.

BOLD CLIFFS

The topography of the Dolomites features massive rock walls, towers, and jagged pinnacles. The Dolomites A dramatic range in northeastern Italy, with 18 peaks rising above 10,000ft (3,000m) dolomite.

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