Sierra Nevada (Spain)

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For other uses, see Sierra Nevada (disambiguation).
Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada (Spain).jpg
View of the Sierra Nevada
Highest point
Peak Mulhacén
Elevation 3,478 m (11,411 ft)
Coordinates 37°03′N 03°18′W / 37.050°N 3.300°W / 37.050; -3.300Coordinates: 37°03′N 03°18′W / 37.050°N 3.300°W / 37.050; -3.300
Geography
Sierra Nevada is located in Spain
Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada
Location in Spain
Location Provinces of Granada and Almería
Country Spain
State/Province Andalusia
Parent range Penibaetic System
Geology
Age of rock Tertiary
Mountain type Alpine

The Sierra Nevada (meaning "snowy mountain range" in Spanish) is a mountain range in the region of Andalucia, provinces of Granada and Almería in Spain. It contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén at 3,478 metres (11,411 ft) above sea level.

It is a popular tourist destination, as its high peaks make skiing possible in one of Europe's most southerly ski resorts, in an area along the Mediterranean Sea predominantly known for its warm temperatures and abundant sunshine. At its foothills is found the city of Granada and, a little further, Almería and Málaga.

Parts of the range have been included in the Sierra Nevada National Park. The range has also been declared a biosphere reserve. The Sierra Nevada Observatory and the IRAM radiotelescope are located on the northern slopes at an elevation of 2,800 metres (9,200 ft).

Etymology[edit]

Name of Sierra Nevada comes from Latin words serra "a saw"; and nevado "snowy".

Formation[edit]

The Sierra Nevada was formed during the Alpine Orogeny, a mountain-building event that also formed the European Alps to the east and the Atlas Mountains of northern Africa across the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Sierra as observed today formed during the Paleogene and Neogene Periods (66 to 1.8 million years ago) from the collision of the African and Eurasian continental plates.

Geography[edit]

Sierra Nevada from Alquería de Fargue near Granada

Central to the mountain range is a ridge running broadly west-south-west - east-north-east. For a substantial distance, the watershed stays consistently above 3,000 metres (9,800 ft).

On the southern side of the range, several long, (but) narrow river valleys lead off towards the south-west, separated by a number of subsidiary ridges.

On the steeper and craggier northern side, the valleys have less regular orientations. This side is dominated by the Rio Genil which starts near Mulhacén and into which many of the other rivers flow.

Highest peaks[edit]

Highest peaks of Sierra Nevada
Peak (> 3,000m) Height (m)
Mulhacén 3,480
Veleta 3,393
Alcazaba 3,371
Cerro los Machos 3,324
Puntal de Siete Lagunas 3,248
Puntal de la Caldera 3,226
Pico de Elorrieta 3,206
Crestones Río Seco 3,198
Loma Pelada 3,187
Cerro Pelado 3,179
Tajos de la Virgen 3,160
Tosal del Cartujo 3,152
Pico de La Atalaya 3,148
Puntal de Vacares 3,143
Cerro Rasero 3,139
Tajos del Nevero 3,120
Raspones Río Seco 3,120
Tajos Altos 3,111
Picón de Jeres 3,090
Tajo de los Machos 3,088
Cerrillo Redondo 3,058
Juego de Bolos 3,018
Pico del Caballo 3,013

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen climate classification, Sierra Nevada has a mediterranean to subarctic climate (Dsc), due to the location's high elevation and low summer precipitation. With June and September being around the threshold of 10 °C (50 °F) in mean temperature to avoid the subarctic classification, the climate at a slightly lower elevation is continental highland climate. At an elevation slightly lower than that classification area; where February means average above −3 °C (27 °F); it falls into the normal cool-summer mediterranean classification transitioning with the hot-summer variety in surrounding lowland areas. This renders Sierra Nevada's climate a highland cooled-down variety of a typical mediterranean climate. Summer and winter daytime temperatures are some 12° C cooler than found in Granada, differences that are even greater in spring as Sierra Nevada takes longer to approach the short summers. In May daytime highs in Sierra Nevada are around 4 °C (39 °F) with Granada having an average of 24 °C (75 °F). The yearly temperature of 3.9 °C (39.0 °F) is in stark contrast to Granada's 15.7 °C (60.3 °F) and coastal Málaga's 18.5 °C (65.3 °F).[1][2]

Climate data for Pradollano (1975-1989); 2,507 asl.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 0.3
(32.5)
−0.9
(30.4)
0.6
(33.1)
3.2
(37.8)
4.6
(40.3)
14.9
(58.8)
21.6
(70.9)
19.8
(67.6)
14.2
(57.6)
10.4
(50.7)
3.5
(38.3)
2.6
(36.7)
7.8
(46)
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.9
(26.8)
−4.4
(24.1)
−3.4
(25.9)
−0.6
(30.9)
0.9
(33.6)
9.9
(49.8)
16.6
(61.9)
15.2
(59.4)
9.9
(49.8)
6.3
(43.3)
0.1
(32.2)
−0.7
(30.7)
3.9
(39)
Average low °C (°F) −6.1
(21)
−7.9
(17.8)
−7.5
(18.5)
−4.3
(24.3)
−2.9
(26.8)
5.6
(42.1)
11.9
(53.4)
10.6
(51.1)
5.7
(42.3)
2.2
(36)
−3.3
(26.1)
−4.0
(24.8)
0.0
(32)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 86.7
(3.413)
91.2
(3.591)
78.8
(3.102)
53.8
(2.118)
53.6
(2.11)
29.7
(1.169)
6.1
(0.24)
11.7
(0.461)
33.7
(1.327)
69.0
(2.717)
85.2
(3.354)
93.1
(3.665)
692.0
(27.244)
Source: Phytosociological Research Center[3]

Sport[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Standard climate values for Granada". Aemet.es. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Standard climate values for Málaga". Aemet.es. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  3. ^ "Datos climátológicos de Sierra Nevada" (in Spanish). Phytosociological Research Center. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Francisco Pérez Raya, Joaquín Molero Mesa, Francisco Valle Tendero, 1992: "Parque Natural de Sierra Nevada. Paisaje, fauna, flora, itinerarios". Ed. Rueda. Madrid. ISBN 84-7207-067-0 (Spanish)
  • "Flora de la Tundra de Sierra Nevada". Pablo Prieto Fernández, Ed. Universidad de Granada. ISBN 84-600-1810-5 (Spanish)
  • "Sierra Nevada: Guía de Montaña". Aurelio del Castillo y Antonio del Castillo. Ed. Penibética, 2003. ISBN 84-932022-3-1 (Spanish)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]