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Dinaric Alps

Dinaric Alps
Dinarides
Orjen at the Bay of Kotor is the most heavily karstified range of the Dinarides
Highest point
Peak Maja Jezercë (Albania)
Elevation 2,694 m (8,839 ft)
Coordinates
Dimensions
Length 645 km (401 mi) NW-SE
Geography
Topography of the Dinaric Alps
Countries
Borders on Julian Alps
Geology
Period Mesozoic Era
Type of rock Sedimentary

The Dinaric Alps or Dinarides is a mountain chain which spans areas of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.[1]

They extend for 645 kilometres (401 mi) along the coast of the Adriatic Sea (northwest-southeast), from the Julian Alps in the northwest down to the Šar-Korab massif, where the mountain direction changes to north-south. The highest mountain of the Dinaric Alps is Mount Prokletije, located on the border of eastern Montenegro and northern Albania, with the peak called "Lake Crest" at 2,694 metres (8,839 ft).

The Dinaric Alps are the fifth most rugged and extensively mountainous area of Europe after the Caucasus Mountains, Alps, Pyrenees and Scandinavian Mountains. They are formed largely of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks of dolomite, limestone, sand and conglomerates formed by seas and lakes that had once covered the area. During the Alpine earth movements that occurred 50–100 million years ago, immense lateral pressures folded and overthrust the rocks in a great arc around the old rigid block of the northeast. The Dinaric Alps were thrown up in more or less parallel ranges, stretching like necklaces from the Julian Alps as far as the areas of northern Albania and Kosovo, where the mountainous terrain subsides to make way for the waters of Drin and the fields of Kosovo. The Šar and Korab mountains then rise and the mountainous terrain continues southwards to the Pindus of Greece and the mountains of the Peloponnese and Crete, Rhodes to the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey.

Contents

  • Name 1
  • Geology 2
  • Human activity 3
  • Passes 4
  • Tunnels 5
  • Mountains and plateaus 6
    • Albania 6.1
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina 6.2
    • Croatia 6.3
    • Kosovo 6.4
    • Montenegro 6.5
    • Serbia 6.6
    • Slovenia 6.7
  • Notes and references 7
  • External links 8

Name

The Dinarides are named after Mount Dinara (1,913 m), a prominent peak in the center of the mountain range on the border of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The chain is called Alpet Dinaride or Alpet Dinarike in Albanian, Dinarsko gorje or Dinaridi in Bosnian and Croatian, Dinarske planine or Динариди in Serbian and Dinarsko gorstvo in Slovene.

Geology

Valbona Pass, northern Albania

The canyons are cleft by the rivers draining the higher slopes.

Mount Mučanj, lower Dinarides, western Serbia

The most extensive example of limestone mountains in Europe are those of the Karst of the Dinaric Alps. Here, all the characteristic features are encountered again and again as one travels through this wild and underpopulated country. Limestone is a very porous rock, yet very hard and resistant to Vrbas, Neretva, Tara and Lim, are famous. The partially submerged western Dinaric Alps form the numerous islands and harbours along the Croatian coast.

Only along the Dinaric gorges is communication possible across the Karst, and roads and railways tunnel through precipitous cliffs and traverse narrow ledges above roaring torrents. A number of springs and rivers rise in the Dinaric range, including Jadro Spring noted for having been the source of water for Diocletian's Palace at Split.[2] At the same time, the purity of these rocks is such that the rivers are crystal clear, and there is little soil-making residue. Water quality testing of the Jadro River, for example, indicates the low pollutant levels present.[3] Rock faces are often bare of vegetation and glaring white, but what little soil there is may collect in the hollows and support lush lime-tolerant vegetation, or yield narrow strips of cultivation.

Human activity

Ruins of fortresses dot the mountainous landscape, evidence of centuries of war and the refuge the Dinaric Alps have provided to various armed forces. During the Roman period, the Dinarides provided shelter to the Allied resistance movements of World War II.

The area remains underpopulated, and forestry and mining remain the chief economic activities in the Dinaric Alps. The people of the Dinaric Alps are on record as being the tallest in the world, with a male average height of 185.6 cm (6 ft 1.1 in) and a female average height of 171.0 cm (5 ft 7.3 in).[4]

Passes

The main mountain passes of the Dinaric Alps are:[5]

  • Postojna Gate (Postojnska vrata), Slovenia (606 m or 1,988 ft),
  • Vratnik pass, Croatia (850 m or 2,789 ft)
  • Debelo brdo, Serbia (1,094 m or 3,589 ft)
  • Knin Gate (Kninska vrata), Croatia (about 700 m or 2,297 ft)
  • Vaganj, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina (1,137 m or 3,730 ft)
  • Ivan-Saddle (Ivan-sedlo), Bosnia-Herzegovina (967 m or 3,173 ft)
  • Cemerno, Bosnia-Herzegovina (1,329 m or 4,360 ft)
  • Crkvine, Montenegro (1,045 m or 3,428 ft)
  • Cakor, Montenegro (1,849 m or 6,066 ft)

Tunnels

Major tunnels transversing the Dinaric Alps include:

Mountains and plateaus

Geomorphological subdivisions of Dinaric Alps

The mountains and plateaus within the Dinarides are found in the following regions:

Albania

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Kosovo

Montenegro

  • Bijela gora means "White Mountain" in Montenegrin, which is the opposite of "Crna Gora" or "Black Mountain" which is the local name for Montenegro
  • Durmitor
  • Orjen
  • Zla Kolata (bordering Albania; Kolata e Keq in Albanian)

Serbia

Slovenia

Notes and references

Notes:

  1. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognised as an independent state by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.

References:

  1. ^ Profile, dictionary.reference.com; accessed 25 August 2015.
  2. ^ "C.Michael Hogan, "Diocletian's Palace", A. Burnham ed, 6 October 2007". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Nives Štambuk-Giljanović, ''The Pollution Load by Nitrogen and Phosphorus in the Jadro River'', Springer Netherlands; ISSN 0167-6369 (Print) 1573–2959 (Online), Volume 123, Numbers 1–3/December, 2006". Springerlink.com. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Average height of adolescents in the Dinaric Alps. They are also reputed to have the tallest males in Europe. Study claims it is not complete as yet". Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Summitpost. Dinaric Alps: Passes in the Dinaric Alps, accessed 11-19-2008

External links

  • Discover Dinarides Project
  • Environment for People in the Dinaric Arc Project
  • Via Dinarica Trail - Mega-trail across highest peaks of Dinaric Alps
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