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The Pannonian Basin, or Carpathian Basin,[1][2][3][4] is a large basin in Central Europe. The geomorphological term Pannonian Plain is more widely used for roughly the same region though with a somewhat different sense, with only the lowlands, the plain that remained when the Pliocene Epoch Pannonian Sea dried out.

It is a geomorphological subsystem of the Alps-Himalaya system, specifically a sediment-filled back-arc basin which spread apart during the Miocene.[5][6] Most of the plain consists of the Great Hungarian Plain (in the south and east, including the Eastern Slovak Lowland) and the Little Hungarian Plain (in the northwest), divided by the Transdanubian Mountains.

The Pannonian Basin lies in the southeastern part of Central Europe. It forms a topographically discrete unit set in the European landscape, surrounded by imposing geographic boundaries - the Carpathian Mountains and the Alps. The Rivers Danube and Tisza divide the basin roughly in half. It extends roughly between Vienna in the northwest, Košice in the northeast, Zagreb in the southwest, Novi Sad in the south and Satu Mare in the east.

In terms of modern state boundaries, the basin centres on the territory of Hungary, but it also covers regions of western Slovakia (the Eastern Slovak Lowland), southeastern Poland, western Ukraine, western Romania, northern Serbia (Vojvodina), the tip of northeast Croatia (Slavonia), northeastern Slovenia (Prekmurje), and eastern Austria. The name "Pannonian" comes from Pannonia, a province of the Roman Empire. Only the western part of the territory (the so-called Transdanubia) of modern Hungary formed part of the ancient Roman Province of Pannonia; this comprises less than 29% of modern Hungary, therefore Hungarian geographers avoid the terms "Pannonian Basin" and "Pannonian Plain".

Terminology

In English-language, the terms "Pannonian Basin" and "Carpathian Basin" are used synonymously. The name "Pannonian" is taken from that of Pannonia, a province of the Roman Empire. The historical province overlapped but was not coterminous with the geographical plain or basin. Pannonia Inferior covered much of the western half of the basin, as far as the Danube. Pannonia Superior included the western fringe of the basin as well as part of the Eastern Alps, as far as Virunum. The southern fringe of the basin was in Dalmatia and Moesia. The eastern half of the basin was not conquered by the Romans and was considered part of Sarmatia, inhabited by the Iazyges. Likewise, the parts north of the Danube (now in western Slovakia) were not in the empire; they were considered part of Germania, inhabited by the Quadi.

The term Pannonian Plain refers to the lowland parts of the Pannonian Basin as well as those of some adjoining regions like Lower Austria, Moravia, and Silesia (Czech Republic and Poland). The lands adjoining the plain proper are sometimes also called peri-Pannonian.

The term Carpathian Basin is used in Hungarian literature, while the West Slavic languages (Czech, Polish and Slovak), Serbo-Croatian languages, German language, and Romanian language use Pannonian: in Hungarian the basin is known as Kárpát-medence, in Czech; Panonská pánev, in Polish; Panoński Basen, in Slovak; Panónska panva, in Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian: Panonski bazen/Панонски базен, in German; Pannonisches Becken, and in Romanian; Câmpia Panonică or Bazinul Panonic. The East Slavic languages, namely Ukrainian, use terms Tisa-Danube Basin or Middanubian Basin (Ukrainian: Тисо-Дунайська низовина, Середньодунайська низовина)

In Hungarian geographical literature various subdivisions of the Carpathian Mountains (Inner Western Carpathians, Inner Eastern Carpathians, Southern Carpathians, Western Carpathians and Transylvanian Plateau) are also considered parts of the Carpathian Basin on the basis of traditional geopolitical divisions.

Name

Julius Pokorny derived the name Pannonia from Illyrian, from the Proto-Indo-European root *pen-, "swamp, water, wet" (cf. English fen, "marsh"; Hindi pani, "water").[7]

Geography

Biogeographic regions of Europe

Climate and natural resources

Although rain is not plentiful, it usually falls when necessary and the plain is a major agricultural area; it is sometimes said that these fields of rich loamy loess soil could feed the whole of Alps-Himalaya system, specifically a sediment-filled back-arc basin which spread apart during the Miocene.[5][6] Most of the plain consists of the Great Hungarian Plain (in the south and east, including the Eastern Slovak Lowland) and the Little Hungarian Plain (in the northwest), divided by the Transdanubian Mountains.

The Pannonian Basin lies in the southeastern part of Central Europe. It forms a topographically discrete unit set in the European landscape, surrounded by imposing geographic boundaries - the Carpathian Mountains and the Alps. The Rivers Danube and Tisza divide the basin roughly in half. It extends roughly between Vienna in the northwest, Košice in the northeast, Zagreb in the southwest, Novi Sad in the south and Satu Mare in the east.

In terms of modern state boundaries, the basin centres on the territory of Hungary, but it also covers regions of western Slovakia (the Eastern Slovak Lowland), southeastern Poland, western Ukraine, western Romania, northern Serbia (Vojvodina), the tip of northeast Croatia (Slavonia), northeastern Slovenia (Prekmurje), and eastern Austria. The name "Pannonian" comes from Pannonia, a province of the Roman Empire. Only the western part of the territory (the so-called Transdanubia) of modern Hungary formed part of the ancient Roman Province of Pannonia; this comprises less than 29% of modern Hungary, therefore Hungarian geographers avoid the terms "Pannonian Basin" and "Pannonian Plain".

In English-language, the terms "Pannonian Basin" and "Carpathian Basin" are used synonymously. The name "Pannonian" is taken from that of Pannonia, a province of the Roman Empire. The historical province overlapped but was not coterminous with the geographical plain or basin. Pannonia Inferior covered much of the western half of the basin, as far as the Danube. Pannonia Superior included the western fringe of the basin as well as part of the Eastern Alps, as far as Virunum. The southern fringe of the basin was in Dalmatia and Moesia. The eastern half of the basin was not conquered by the Romans and was considered part of Sarmatia, inhabited by the Iazyges. Likewise, the parts north of the Danube (now in western Slovakia) were not in the empire; they were considered part of Germania, inhabited by the Quadi.

The term Pannonian Plain refers to the lowland parts of the Pannonian Basin as well as those of some adjoining regions like Lower Austria, Moravia, and Silesia (Czech Republic and Poland). The lands adjoining the plain proper are sometimes also called peri-Pannonian.

The term Carpathian Basin is used in Hungarian literature, while the West Slavic languages (Czech, Polish and Slovak), Serbo-Croatian languages, German language, and Romanian language use Pannonian: in Hungarian the basin is known as Kárpát-medence, in Czech; Panonská pánev, in Polish; Panoński Basen, in Slovak; Panónska panva, in Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian: Panonski bazen/Панонски базен, in German; Pannonisches Becken, and in Romanian; Câmpia Panonică or Bazinul Panonic. The East Slavic languages, namely Ukrainian, use terms Tisa-Danube Basin or Middanubian Basin (Ukrainian: Тисо-Дунайська низовина, Середньодунайська низовина)

In Hungarian geographical literature various subdivisions of the Carpathian Mountains (Inner Western Carpathians, Lower Austria, Moravia, and Silesia (Czech Republic and Poland). The lands adjoining the plain proper are sometimes also called peri-Pannonian.

The term Carpathian Basin is used in Hungarian literature, while the West Slavic languages (Czech, Polish and Slovak), Serbo-Croatian languages, German language, and Romanian language use Pannonian: in Hungarian the basin is known as Kárpát-medence, in Czech; Panonská pánev, in Polish; Panoński Basen, in Slovak; Panónska panva, in Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian: Panonski bazen/Панонски базен, in German; Pannonisches Becken, and in Romanian; Câmpia Panonică or Bazinul Panonic. The East Slavic languages, namely Ukrainian, use terms Tisa-Danube Basin or Middanubian Basin (Ukrainian: Тисо-Дунайська низовина, Середньодунайська низовина)

In Hungarian geographical literature various subdivisions of the Carpathian Mountains (Inner Western Carpathians, Inner Eastern Carpathians, Southern Carpathians, Western Carpathians and Transylvanian Plateau) are also considered parts of the Carpathian Basin on the basis of traditional geopolitical divisions.

Julius Pokorny derived the name Pannonia from Illyrian, from the Proto-Indo-European root *pen-, "swamp, water, wet" (cf. English fen, "marsh"; Hindi pani, "water").[7]

Geography

Although rain is not plentiful, it usually falls when necessary and the plain is a major agricultural area; it is sometimes said that these fields of rich loamy loess soil could feed the whole of Europe. For its early settlers, the plain offered few sources of metals or stone. Thus when archaeologists come upon objects of obsidian or chert, copper or gold, they have almost unparalleled opportunities to interpret ancient pathways of trade.

Geomorphology

Wheat field near Temerin

The Pannonian plain is divided into two parts along the Transdanubian Mountains (Hungarian: Dunántúli-középhegység). The northwestern part is called Western Pannonian plain (or province) and the southeastern part Eastern Pannonian plain (or province). They comprise the following sections: