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part of the mountain system of the Alps, located east of a line passing through the Alps from the Bodensee (Lake Constance) on the north along the valleys of the Rhine and Lower Rhine to the Splügen Pass and then along the Liro and Mera rivers to Lake Como on the south. The Eastern Alps differ from the Western Alps, located west of this line, in their greater width (up to 260 km), their lesser height (Mt. Bernina, 4,049 m), the less frequent occurrence of contemporary glaciers and forms of Alpine relief, the presence of lengthwise river valleys, and the primarily latitudinal configuration of ranges, which, in the east, form a fan. The central zone of the Eastern Alps is noteworthy for its sharply defined mountainous-glacial relief, its altitude, and its glaciation. It includes the Rhaetian Alps, Ötzal Alps, Zillertal Alps, Hohe Tauern, Niedere Tauern, and other ranges. To the north are lower but sharply divided and precipitous ranges, such as the Aiguille Alps and Kitzbühel Alps, often with karst topography, composed mainly of Mesozoic lime-stones and dolomites. These merge still farther north with low ranges of Mesocenozoic flysch. South of the central zone are the limestone ranges of the Lombardian Alps, Carnic Alps, Dolomite Alps, and Julian Alps, grading farther south into the lower, limestone Cisalpine highlands.
R. A. ERAMOV