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Apennine Range, also called the Apennines, Italian Appennino, collection of mountain ranges bordered by small coastlands that type the physics backbone the peninsular Italy. Indigenous Cadibona pass in the northwest, close come the naval Alps, they kind a great arc, i beg your pardon extends as much as the Egadi islands to the west that Sicily. Their complete length is approximately 870 miles (1,400 kilometres), and their width arrays from 25 to 125 miles. Mountain Corno, 9,554 feet (2,912 metres), is the highest allude of the Apennines appropriate on the peninsula. The variety follows a northwest–southeast orientation as far as Calabria, in ~ the southern guideline of Italy; the local trend then transforms direction, an initial toward the south and finally westward.


The Apennines are among the younger arrays of the Alpine system and, geologically speaking, are related to the seaside range of the Atlas mountains of phibìc Africa. Similarities have also been observed v the Dinaric Alps, which extend through the Balkan region, including Greece. Nearby Sardinia and also Corsica, top top the other hand, are dissimilar come the Apennines, your granitic absent masses being linked to outcroppings follow me the Spanish and also French coast, from which they parted part 20 million years ago.

Physical features


The bulk of geologic devices of the Apennines are made up of maritime sedimentary rocks the were deposited end the southern margin the the Tethys Sea, the big ocean that spread out in between the Paleo-European and also the Paleo-African plates throughout their separation in the Mesozoic Era (about 250 to 65 million years ago). These rocks are mainly shales, sandstones, and limestones, while igneous rocks (such as the ophiolites of the northern Apennines, the remains of an larger oceanic crust) room scarce. The earliest rocks—metamorphic devices of the so late Paleozoic Era (about 300 come 250 million years ago), through their continent sedimentary covering containing plant remains—represent the relicts that the ancient continental late of Gondwanaland and are found in tiny outcroppings. The granitic intrusions and metamorphic units of the Calabrian and Sicilian arrays are also Paleozoic (Hercynian orogeny), but they are believed to it is in Alpine in origin and only became component of the Apennine chain v subsequent significant tectonic movements.

The Apennine orogeny occurred through number of tectonic phases, mostly throughout the Cenozoic Era (i.e., since about 65 million years ago), and also came to a climax in the Miocene and also Pliocene epochs (about 23 come 2.6 million years ago). The Apennines consists a thrust-belt structure with three basic trending motions: toward the Adriatic Sea (the north and central ranges), the Ionian Sea (Calabrian Apennines), and Africa (Sicilian Range). Throughout Plio-Pleistocene times (i.e., around 5,300,000 to 11,700 years ago), ingression and also regression the the sea resulted in the development of big marine and also continental sedimentary belts (sands, clays, and conglomerates) along the slopes of the brand-new chain. In the previous million years numerous huge faults have developed along the western side of the Apennines, which may be associated to the crustal thinning that began about 10 million years earlier and brought about the development of a brand-new sea, the Tyrrhenian. Most of this faults have also facilitated strong volcanic activity, and a volcanic chain has formed along castle from mount Amiata in Tuscany to mount Etna in Sicily; many of this volcanoes—including mount Amiata, mount Cimino, the Alban Hills near Rome, and the Ponza Islands—are extinct, but, to the south, mountain Vesuvius, the Eolie Islands, and also Mount Etna are all still active. Seismic activity is usual along the whole length of the chain (including Sicily), with more than 40,000 recorded occasions since advertisement 1000. Mainly earthquakes space shallow (three come 19 miles deep), and their occurrence is probably connected to the settlement of the chain in the facility interaction between the African and also European tectonic plates.

The geologic youth that the Apennines and a an excellent variety of rock species are responsible for the rough appearance that the range today. In the north, in Liguria, sandstones, marls, and greenstones occur. Landslides regularly occur in these brittle rocks. In Tuscany, Emilia, Marche, and also Umbria, clay, sand and also limestones space common. In Lazio, Campania, Puglia, Calabria, and also northern and also eastern Sicily, there are large calcareous rock outcrops, be separate by lowland locations of shale and also sandstone. In Molise, Basilicata, and Sicily, comprehensive argillaceous (clayey) rock species occur. Here, the landscape has a thirsty and desolate appearance, with frequent erosion of the calanchi, or badlands, type.


Starting indigenous the north, the key subdivisions the the Apennines are the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, through a maximum height of 7,103 feet at mountain Cimone; the Umbrian-Marchigian Apennines, with their maximum elevation (8,130 feet) at mount Vettore; the Abruzzi Apennines, 9,554 feet at mount Corno; the Campanian Apennines, 7,352 feet at mount Meta; the Lucanian Apennines, 7,438 feet at mountain Pollino; the Calabrian Apennines, 6,414 feet at mount Alto; and, finally, the Sicilian Range, 10,902 feet at mount Etna. The ranges in Puglia (the “boot heel” the the peninsula) and southeastern Sicily are developed by low, horizontal limestone plateaus, which remained less impacted by the Alpine orogeny.

The rivers of the Apennines have quick courses. The two primary rivers are the Tiber (252 miles long), which adheres to a southerly course along the western base of the Umbrian-Marchigian selection before flowing with Rome come the Tyrrhenian Sea, and also the Arno (155 miles), which flows westerly indigenous the Tuscan-Emilian variety through Florence to the Ligurian Sea. Also far-reaching is the Volturno (109 miles), i beg your pardon rises in the Abruzzi Apennines close to Alfedena and also flows south east as far as that junction v the Calore River near Caiazzo and also then transforms southwest to enter the Tyrrhenian Sea. Despite the minimal length that the rivers, the activity of running water is the chief certified dealer of erosion responsible for molding the modern Apennine landscape. The character of the physical geography depends ~ above the varying nature of the rocks in each region and your resistance come water action. The all at once aspect the relief, however, exhibits qualities of an early, or juvenile, phase in the bicycle of erosion. In limestone areas, karst erosion, through crevasses worn by water action, predominates. In the highest part of the Apennines there space traces the the erosive action of the glaciers of the last ice Age, although, unequal the Alps, modern glaciers space lacking.

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Lakes—which this particular day are tiny and scattered in distribution—were likewise much more abundant in earlier Quaternary time (i.e., start some 2.6 million years ago). The alluvial Lake Trasimeno (49 square miles <128 square kilometres>) in the Umbrian-Marchigian Apennines is the largest lake that the present range. Other natural lakes, of varying origin, room scattered transparent the range. Over there are much more than 200 fabricated lakes produced for purposes of power and irrigation.