Eastern Alps

Eastern Alps

Eastern Alps is the name given to the eastern half of the Alps, usually defined as the area east of the Splügen Pass in eastern Switzerland. North of the Splügen Pass, the Posterior Rhine forms the border, and south of the pass, the Liro river and Lake Como form the boundary line.

The Eastern Alps include parts of Switzerland, most of Austria and Liechtenstein, as well as parts of southern Germany, northern Italy and Slovenia. The eastern border is formed by the Wienerwald (Vienna Woods) and the Viennese basin, which is the transition zone to the Carpathian mountains.

The Eastern Alps are traditionally divided according to the "Alpenvereins-Einteilung" (arrangement of the Alpine Club) into several dozen small regions, each assigned to the Northern Calcareous Alps, the Central Eastern Alps or the Southern Calcareous Alps. Fuller details are given on those pages of the regions they contain.

The highest mountain in the Eastern Alps is Piz Bernina (4,049 m) in Switzerland. Excepting other peaks in the Bernina range, the next highest is the Ortler (3,905 m) in Italy/South Tyrol and then the Großglockner (3,798 m) in Austria.

During the Würm glaciation, the Eastern Alps were drier than the Western Alps, with the contiguous ice shield ending in the region of the Niedere Tauern in Austria. This allowed many species to survive the ice age in the Eastern Alps where they could not survive elsewhere. For that reason, many species of plants are endemic to the Eastern Alps.

ee also

* Northern Calcareous Alps
* Central Eastern Alps
* Southern Calcareous Alps

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