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Mountain passes

In the Romanian part of the main chain of the Carpathians, mountain passes include Prislop Pass, Tihuța Pass, Bicaz Canyon, Ghimeș Pass, Buzău Pass, Predeal Pass (crossed by the railway from Braşov to Bucharest), Turnu Roșu Pass (1,115 ft., running through the narrow gorge of the Olt River and crossed by the railway from Sibiu to Bucharest), Vulcan Pass, and the Iron Gate (both crossed by the railway from Timișoara to Craiova).

Geology

Vrátna dolina, Slovakia

The area now occupied by the Carpathians was once occupied by smaller ocean basins. The Carpathian mountains were formed during the Alpine orogeny in the Mesozoic[22] and Tertiary by moving the ALCAPA (Alpine-Carpathian-Pannonian), Tisza and Dacia plates over subducting oceanic crust.[23] The mountains take the form of a fold and thrust belt with generally north vergence in the western segment, northeast to east vergence in the eastern portion and southeast vergence in the southern portion.

The external, generally northern, portion of the orogenic belt is a Tertiary accretionary wedge of a so-called Flysch belt (the Carpathian Flysch Belt) created by rocks scraped off the sea bottom and thrust over the North-European plate. The Carpathian accretionary wedge is made of several thin skinned nappes composed of Cretaceous to Paleogene turbidites. Thrusting of the Flysch nappes over the Carpathian foreland caused the formation of the Carpathian foreland basin.[24] The boundary between the Flysch belt and internal zones of the orogenic belt in the western segment of the mountain range is marked by the Pieniny Klippen Belt, a narrow complicated zone of polyphase compressional deformation, later involved in a supposed strike-slip zone.[25] Internal zones in western and eastern segments contain older Variscan igneous massifs reworked in Mesozoic thick and thin-skinned nappes. During the Middle Miocene this zone was affected by intensive calc-alkaline[26] arc volcanism that developed over the subduction zone of the flysch basins. At the same time, the internal zones of the orogenic belt were affected by large extensional structure[27] of the back-arc Pannonian Basin.[28] The last volcanic activity occurred at Ciomadul about 30,000 years ago.[26]

Iron, gold and silver were found in great quantities in the Western Carpathians. After the Roman emperor Trajan's conquest of Dacia, he brought back to Rome over

In the Romanian part of the main chain of the Carpathians, mountain passes include Prislop Pass, Tihuța Pass, Bicaz Canyon, Ghimeș Pass, Buzău Pass, Predeal Pass (crossed by the railway from Braşov to Bucharest), Turnu Roșu Pass (1,115 ft., running through the narrow gorge of the Olt River and crossed by the railway from Sibiu to Bucharest), Vulcan Pass, and the Iron Gate (both crossed by the railway from Timișoara to Craiova).

Geology

Vrátna dolina, Slovakia

The area now occupied by the Carpathians was once occupied by smaller ocean basins. The Carpathian mountains were formed during the Alpine orogeny in the Mesozoic[22] and Tertiary by moving the ALCAPA (Alpine-Carpathian-Pannonian), Tisza and Dacia plates over subducting oceanic crust.[23] The mountains take the form of a fold and thrust belt with generally north vergence in the western segment, northeast to east vergence in the eastern portion and southeast vergence in the southern portion.

The external, generally northern, portion of the orogenic belt is a Tertiary accretionary wedge of a so-called Flysch belt (the Carpathian Flysch Belt) created by rocks scraped off the sea bottom and thrust over the North-European plate. The Carpathian accretionary wedge is made of several thin skinned nappes composed of Cretac

The area now occupied by the Carpathians was once occupied by smaller ocean basins. The Carpathian mountains were formed during the Alpine orogeny in the Mesozoic[22] and Tertiary by moving the ALCAPA (Alpine-Carpathian-Pannonian), Tisza and Dacia plates over subducting oceanic crust.[23] The mountains take the form of a fold and thrust belt with generally north vergence in the western segment, northeast to east vergence in the eastern portion and southeast vergence in the southern portion.

The external, generally northern, portion of the orogenic belt is a Tertiary accretionary wedge of a so-called Flysch belt (the Carpathian Flysch Belt) created by rocks scraped off the sea bottom and thrust over the North-European plate. The Carpathian accretionary wedge is made of several thin skinned nappes composed of Cretaceous to Paleogene turbidites. Thrusting of the Flysch nappes over the Carpathian foreland caused the formation of the Carpathian foreland basin.[24] The boundary between the Flysch belt and internal zones of the orogenic belt in the western segment of the mountain range is marked by the accretionary wedge of a so-called Flysch belt (the Carpathian Flysch Belt) created by rocks scraped off the sea bottom and thrust over the North-European plate. The Carpathian accretionary wedge is made of several thin skinned nappes composed of Cretaceous to Paleogene turbidites. Thrusting of the Flysch nappes over the Carpathian foreland caused the formation of the Carpathian foreland basin.[24] The boundary between the Flysch belt and internal zones of the orogenic belt in the western segment of the mountain range is marked by the Pieniny Klippen Belt, a narrow complicated zone of polyphase compressional deformation, later involved in a supposed strike-slip zone.[25] Internal zones in western and eastern segments contain older Variscan igneous massifs reworked in Mesozoic thick and thin-skinned nappes. During the Middle Miocene this zone was affected by intensive calc-alkaline[26] arc volcanism that developed over the subduction zone of the flysch basins. At the same time, the internal zones of the orogenic belt were affected by large extensional structure[27] of the back-arc Pannonian Basin.[28] The last volcanic activity occurred at Ciomadul about 30,000 years ago.[26]

Iron, gold and silver were found in great quantities in the Western Carpathians. After the Roman emperor Trajan's conquest of Dacia, he brought back to Rome over 165 tons of gold and 330 tons of silver.[29]

The ecology of the Carpathians varies with altitude, ranging from lowland forests to alpine meadows. Foothill forests are primarily of broadleaf deciduous trees, including oak, hornbeam, and linden. European beech is characteristic of the montane forest zone. Higher-elevation subalpine forests are characterized by Norway spruce (Picea abies). Krummholtz and alpine meadows occur above the treeline.[30]

Wildlife in the Carpathians includes brown bear (Ursus arctos), wolf (Canis lupus), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), European wildcat (Felis silvestris), Tatra chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica), brown bear (Ursus arctos), wolf (Canis lupus), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), European wildcat (Felis silvestris), Tatra chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica), European bison (Bison bonasus), and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).[30]

The largest range is the Tatras in Slovakia and Poland. A major part of the western and northeastern Outer Eastern Carpathians in Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia is traditionally called the Eastern Beskids.

The geological border between the Western and Eastern Carpathians runs approximately along the line (south to north) between the towns of Michalovce, Bardejov, Nowy Sącz and Tarnów. In older systems the border runs more in the east, along the line (north to south) along the rivers San and Osława (Poland), the town of Snina (Slovakia) and river Tur'ia (Ukraine). Biologists shift the border even further to the east.

The border between the eastern and southern Carpathians is formed by the Predeal Pass, south of Braşov and the Prahova Valley.

In geopolitical terms, Carpathian Mountains are often grouped and labeled according to national or regional borders, but such division has turned out to be relative, since it was, and still is dependent on frequent historical, political and administrative changes of national or regional borders. According to modern geopolitical division, Carpathians can be grouped as: Serbian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Polish, Slovakian, Czech, Austrian, and Hungarian. Within each nation, specific classifications of the Carpathians have been developing, often reflecting local traditions, and thus creating terminological diversity, that produces various challenges in the fields of comparative classification and international systematization.

Section of the Carpathians within borders of Romania is commonly known as the Romanian Carpathians. In local use, Romanians sometimes denote as "Eastern Carpathians" only th

The geological border between the Western and Eastern Carpathians runs approximately along the line (south to north) between the towns of Michalovce, Bardejov, Nowy Sącz and Tarnów. In older systems the border runs more in the east, along the line (north to south) along the rivers San and Osława (Poland), the town of Snina (Slovakia) and river Tur'ia (Ukraine). Biologists shift the border even further to the east.

The border between the eastern and southern Carpathians is formed by the Predeal Pass, south of Braşov and the Prahova Valley.

In geopolitical terms, Carpathian Mountains are often grouped and labeled according to national or regional borders, but such division has turned out to be relative, since it was, and still is dependent on frequent historical, political and administrative changes of national or regional borders. According to modern geopolitical division, Carpathians can be grouped as: Serbian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Polish, Slovakian, Czech, Austrian, and Hungarian. Within each nation, specific classifications of the Carpathians have been developing, often reflecting local traditions, and thus creating terminological diversity, that produces various challenges in the fields of comparative classification and international systematization.

Section of the Carpathians within borders of Romania is commonly known as the Romanian Carpathians. In local use, Romanians sometimes denote as "Eastern Carpathians" only the Romanian part of the Eastern Carpathians, which lies on their territory (i.e., from the Ukrainian border or from the Prislop Pass to the south), which they subdivide into three simplified geographical groups (northern, central, southern), instead of Outer and Inner Eastern Carpathians. These groups are:

Section of the Carpathians within borders of Ukraine is commonly known as the Ukrainian Carpathians. Classification of eastern sections of the Carpathians is particularly complex, since it was influenced by several overlapping traditions. Terms like Wooded Carpathians, Poloniny Mountains or Eastern Beskids are often used in varying scopes by authors belonging to different traditions.

See also