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The Gavarnie Cirque: A Celebrated “Nature’s Colossus”

  • Monique FortEmail author
Chapter
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)

Abstract

Surrounded by peaks at height more than 3,000 m, the Gavarnie cirque forms, with two other cirques and the adjacent Spanish canyons, an exceptional landscape recognised in 1997 as a UNESCO World Heritage site for both its natural and cultural values. It is an outstanding geomorphosite straddling the Central Pyrenees, famous for its 1,500-m-high limestone amphitheatre, its waterfalls, and the Brèche de Roland. It results from a long evolution, including the formation of the Pyrenean range, the development of Quaternary glaciers, and a long history of human occupation and exchanges across the French/Spanish border. It has always been an inspiring place for many artists and is much appreciated by tourists and climbers.

Keywords

Calcareous cirque Thrust nappes Pyrenean glaciation Waterfalls 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Warm thanks are due to Mélanie Pateau (Univ. Paris-Diderot), Marc Calvet (Perpignan University), and Pierre René (Association Moraine) for providing illustration.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geography DepartmentUFR GHSS, CNRS UMR 8586 PRODIG, University Paris Diderot-Sorbonne-Paris-CitéParis Cedex 13France

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