Western Alps

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Western Alps


part of the Alps mountain system, situated to the west of a line passing from Lake Constance in the north to Lake Como in the south, within the limits of Italy, France, and Switzerland. The Western Alps contain the highest ranges and massifs of the Alps (Mont Blanc, 4,807 m) with widespread glacial forms of relief, systems of longitudinal and transversal deep valleys, and large glaciers.

The Western Alps are distinguished from the Eastern Alps by their lesser width (in certain areas up to 130 km), clearly pronounced arched strike, considerable steepness of slopes facing the direction of the Padua Lowland, thick and deep tectonic and fluvial terrain, high humidification of northern regions where subalpine and alpine landscapes of elevated zones are widespread, and the presence of Mediterranean landscapes in lower sections of the slopes of the southern ranges. The largest ridges in terms of height and area are confined to the crystalline zone of the Western Alps. From the outer side of the arc this zone is bounded by a zone of smaller (primarily up to 2,000 m) ranges of the Pre-Alps, composed mainly of limestone and marl. Mountain forest terrain predominates.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Our sun-soaked alfresco lunch was just one highlight of our trip from Mantua to Venice along the Po - Italy's longest river, which cuts, like a saucy garter, across the 'thigh' of Italy from the Western Alps to the Adriatic.
Our sun-soaked al fresco lunch was just one highlight of our trip from Mantua to Venice along the Po - Italy's longest river, which cuts, like a saucy garter, across the "thigh" of Italy from the Western Alps to the Adriatic.
And yet, for all nature's magnifi-cence in the Aosta Valley, in the Western Alps, there is only one thought in my head: "I really, really want another hot chocolate."
Valfrejus The French western Alps offer ideal skiing conditions in beautiful scenery.
The topics include disequilibrium textures versus equilibrium modeling in geochronology, microstructure and elastic anisotropy in naturally deformed leucogneiss from a shear zone in Italy's Montalto, inferring the geometry of intercrystalline brine in plastically deforming halite rocks from electrical resistivity, the numerical modeling of spontaneous slab breakoff dynamics during continental collision, present-day vertical isostatic readjustment of the Western Alps revealed by numerical modeling and geodetic and siesmotectonic data, the role of mantle hydration in continental crust recycling in the wedge region, and the interaction of deformation and metamorphic reactions.
In the second part of the book an extensive section is dedicated to the metamorphic and magmatic rocks of the Western Alps. The 39 type locality species for Piedmont-Aosta Valley are reviewed in tabular form, and a fine historical section on mineralogy in Piedmont completes the book.
The zone is bounded on the northwest by the Insubric Line, a major tectonic dislocation which separates it from Alpine metamorphic rocks of the Western Alps (Belluso et al., 1990).
comm.) who asserts that the only sure data are those from the western Alps. The record by Caporiacco (1926) from the eastern Alps seems to be plausible (Pantini 2007, pers.
The names given to some of the individual rooms are highly significant: 'Two great patrons in Aosta and Sion', 'Woodcarvers on the Alpine routes'; 'The Western Alps and Flanders'; 'Over the Mountain Passes: painters and sculptors on two sides of the Alps' and the 'Val d'Aosta in the fifteenth century'; 'The southern border: Liguria and the Maritime Alps' point to the impossibility of understanding this region in the 19th- and 20th-century terms of a nation-state.
With the South Western Alps on the west side of the region and Pesio and Ellero valleys to the south, the area is surprisingly free of noise and pollution and enjoys the sort of micro climate which makes it suitable for holidays all year round.
Torino--which lies between the Po River and the western Alps in the Piedmont region--is a hidden gem among Italian cities, but its low profile may change once Olympic spectators catch glimpses of this architecturally grand city.

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