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, name_etymology = , image = Zaragoza shel.JPG , image_size = , image_caption = The Ebro River in Zaragoza , map = SpainEbroBasin.png , map_size = , map_caption = The Ebro river basin , pushpin_map = , pushpin_map_size = , pushpin_map_caption= , subdivision_type1 = Country , subdivision_name1 =
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, subdivision_type2 = Region , subdivision_name2 =
Cantabria Cantabria (, also , , Cantabrian: ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name = , m ...
,
Castile and León Castile and León (, ; es, Castilla y León ) (Leonese dialect Leonese (Leonese: ''Llionés'', ast, Lleonés) is a set of vernacular Romance languages, Romance language varieties currently spoken in northern and western portions of the ...
,
Basque Country (autonomous community) The Basque Country (; eu, Euskadi ; es, País Vasco ; french: Pays Basque), also called Basque Autonomous Community ( eu, Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa, EAE; es, Comunidad Autónoma Vasca, CAV), is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkideg ...
, La Rioja,
Navarre Navarre (; es, Navarra ; eu, Nafarroa ), officially the Chartered Community of Navarre ( es, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, links=no ; eu, Nafarroako Foru Komunitatea, links=no ), is a Fuero, foral autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous co ...

Navarre
,
Aragon Aragon ( or , Spanish and an, Aragón , ca, Aragó ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_n ...

Aragon
,
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
,
Valencian Community The Valencian Community ( ca-valencia, Comunitat Valenciana, es, Comunidad Valenciana), or simply Valencia ( ca-valencia, València, link=no, es, Valencia, link=no), is an of . It is the fourth most populous Spanish after , and with more t ...
, subdivision_type3 = , subdivision_name3 = , length = , width_min = , width_avg = , width_max = , depth_min = , depth_avg = , depth_max = , discharge1_location=
mouth In animal anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is ...

mouth
, discharge1_min = , discharge1_avg = , discharge1_max = , source1 = , source1_location =
Fontibre
Fontibre
,
Cantabria Cantabria (, also , , Cantabrian: ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name = , m ...
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, source1_coordinates= , source1_elevation = , mouth = , mouth_location = Mediterranean Sea,
Province of Tarragona A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gen ...
,
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, mouth_coordinates = , mouth_elevation = , progression = , river_system = Ebro basin , basin_size = , tributaries_left = Nela, Jerea, Bayas,
Zadorra The Zadorra is a river tributary of the Ebro in the Basque Country at the north of the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese and Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península ...
, Ega, Arga,
Aragón Aragon ( or , Spanish and an, Aragón , ca, Aragó ) is an autonomous community in Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).sv ...
, Gállego, Cinca, Segre , tributaries_right = Oca, Oja,
Tirón
Tirón
,
Najerilla The river Najerilla is a tributary of the river Ebro, Spain's most voluminous river. The Najerilla rises in the province of Burgos and then flows through La Rioja (Spain), La Rioja. External links

Rivers of Spain Ebro basin Rivers of Burgo ...
, Iregua,
Cidacos The Cidacos River is a tributary A tributary, or affluent, is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river ...

Cidacos
, Alhama, Jalón,
Huerva The Huerva River is a river in Aragon Aragon ( or , Spanish and an, Aragón , ca, Aragó ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat auto ...
, Martín,
Guadalope The Guadalope (Guadalop in Catalan and Aragonese) is a river in Aragon, Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , nation ...
, Matarranya , custom_label = , custom_data = , extra = The Ebro (Spanish and ; ca, Ebre ) is a river of the north and northeast of the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region ...

Iberian Peninsula
, in
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
. It rises in
Cantabria Cantabria (, also , , Cantabrian: ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name = , m ...
and flows , almost entirely in an east southeast direction. It flows into the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
forming a
delta Delta commonly refers to: * Delta (letter) (Δ or δ), a letter of the Greek alphabet * River delta, a landform at the mouth of a river * D (NATO phonetic alphabet: "Delta"), the fourth letter of the modern English alphabet * Delta Air Lines, an Ame ...
in the
Province of Tarragona A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gen ...
, in southern
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
. In the Iberian peninsula, it ranks second in length after the
Tagus The Tagus ( ; es, Tajo ; pt, Tejo ; see below) is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese and Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eib ...

Tagus
and second in discharge volume, and drainage basin, after the
Douro The Douro (, , ; es, Duero ; la, Durius) is the highest-flow river of the Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former ki ...

Douro
. It is the longest river entirely within Spain; the other two mentioned flow into
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
. The Ebro flows through 20 cities ( es, ciudades):
Reinosa Reinosa is a municipality in Cantabria Cantabria (, also , ) is an autonomous community in northern Spain with Santander, Cantabria, Santander as its capital city. It is recognized as a Nationalities and regions of Spain, historic community a ...

Reinosa
in
Cantabria Cantabria (, also , , Cantabrian: ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name = , m ...
; Frías and
Miranda de Ebro Miranda de Ebro (Spanish: iˈɾan̪da ðe ˈeβɾo is a city on the Ebro river in the Burgos (province), province of Burgos in the autonomous community of Castile and León, Spain. It is located in the north-eastern part of the province, on the ...
in
Castile and León Castile and León (, ; es, Castilla y León ) (Leonese dialect Leonese (Leonese: ''Llionés'', ast, Lleonés) is a set of vernacular Romance languages, Romance language varieties currently spoken in northern and western portions of the ...
; Haro,
Logroño Logroño (, , ) is the capital of the province of La Rioja (Spain), La Rioja and situated in northern Spain. Traversed in its northern part by the Ebro River, Logroño has historically been a place of passage – such as the Camino de Santiago. ...

Logroño
,
Calahorra Calahorra [] ( an, Calagorra, la, Calagurris) La Rioja (autonomous community), La Rioja, Spain is a municipality in the comarca of Rioja Baja, near the border with Navarre on the right bank of the Ebro. During Ancient Rome, Ancient Roman times, C ...

Calahorra
, and Alfaro in La Rioja;
TudelaTudela may refer to: *Tudela, Navarre, a town and municipality in northern Spain ** Benjamin of Tudela Medieval Jewish traveller ** William of Tudela, Medieval troubadour who wrote the first part of the ''Song of the Albigensian Crusade'' ** Battle ...
in
Navarre Navarre (; es, Navarra ; eu, Nafarroa ), officially the Chartered Community of Navarre ( es, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, links=no ; eu, Nafarroako Foru Komunitatea, links=no ), is a Fuero, foral autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous co ...

Navarre
; Alagón,
Utebo Utebo ( an, Utevo) is a village located in the Zaragoza (province), province of Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. At the time of the 2011 census (Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spain), INE), the municipality had a population of 18,602 inhabitants, bei ...
,
Zaragoza Zaragoza, also known in English as Saragossa, is the capital city of the Province of Zaragoza, Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Aragon, Spain. It lies by the Ebro river and its tributaries, the ...

Zaragoza
, and
Caspe Caspe is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordina ...

Caspe
in
Aragon Aragon ( or , Spanish and an, Aragón , ca, Aragó ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_n ...

Aragon
; and
Flix Flix () is a town in the ''comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrative division found in Portugal, Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España. ...

Flix
,
Móra d'Ebre
Móra d'Ebre
,
Benifallet
Benifallet
,
Tivenys
Tivenys
,
Xerta Xerta is a town and Municipalities of Catalonia, municipality of the ''Comarques of Catalonia, comarca'' of Baix Ebre. It is established in a sharp bend to the right of the river Ebre, about 12 km upstream from the city of Tortosa in the provi ...

Xerta
,
Aldover
Aldover
,
Tortosa Tortosa (; ) is the capital of the ''comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnationa ...

Tortosa
, and
Amposta
Amposta
in the
province of Tarragona A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
(
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
).


Geography


Upper part and tributaries

The source of the river Ebro is in the
Cantabrian Mountains , etymology=Named after the Cantabri The Cantabri ( grc-gre, Καντάβροι, ''Kantabroi'') or Ancient Cantabrians, were a pre-Ancient Rome, Roman people and large tribal federation that lived in the northern coastal region of ancient Iberi ...
, in
Fontibre
Fontibre
,
Cantabria Cantabria (, also , , Cantabrian: ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name = , m ...
, from the Latin ''Fontes Iberis'', fount/source of the Ebro. Close by is a large
artificial lake A reservoir (; from French ''réservoir'' ) is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a Depression (geology), basin, surrounded by land, and set apart from any river or oth ...

artificial lake
, ''Embalse del Ebro'', created by its damming. The upper Ebro rushes through rocky gorges in
Burgos Province en, burgalese , population_note = 0,80% of Spain , blank_name_sec2 = Parliament , blank_info_sec2 = Cortes Generales The Cortes Generales (; en, Spanish Parliament, lit=General Courts) are the bicameral legislative c ...
. Flowing roughly eastwards it passes ''las conchas de Haro'' and begins forming a wider river valley among
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
rocks when it reaches La Rioja and
Navarre Navarre (; es, Navarra ; eu, Nafarroa ), officially the Chartered Community of Navarre ( es, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, links=no ; eu, Nafarroako Foru Komunitatea, links=no ), is a Fuero, foral autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous co ...

Navarre
. Southern tributaries rise on the nearby
watershed Watershed is a hydrological term, which has been adopted in other fields in a more or less figurative sense. It may refer to: Hydrology * Drainage divide, the line that separates neighbouring drainage basins ** European watershed * Drainage basin, ...
, the
Sistema Ibérico 240px, The Iberian wolf is a subspecies of grey wolf that is still found in some ranges of the system. The Iberian System ( es, Sistema Ibérico, ), is one of the major systems of mountain ranges in Spain. It consists of a vast and complex ar ...

Sistema Ibérico
, a mountain range among those of Spain's centre. North of the headwaters is the Cantabrian mountain range (south of
Bilbao ) , motto = , image_map = , mapsize = 275 px , map_caption = Interactive map outlining Bilbao , pushpin_map = Spain Basque Country#Spain#Europe , pushpin_map_caption ...

Bilbao
and
Santander Santander may refer to: Places *Santander, Spain, the original place to receive this name, a port city and capital of the autonomous community of Cantabria, Spain *Santander Department, a department of Colombia *Santander State, former state of Co ...
). Much of the total water volume of the Ebro comes from its northern tributaries, which drain about of the southern slopes of the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to ...

Pyrenees
mountains, which run along the border with
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
.


Climate

Downstream from Cantabria the climate in the Ebro basin – the valley being isolated from sea air masses by surrounding mountains – becomes Mediterrean/Atlantic influenced and
continental Continental may refer to: Places * Continent * Continental, Arizona, a small community in Pima County, Arizona, US * Continental, Ohio, a small town in Putnam County, US Arts and entertainment * Continental (album), ''Continental'' (album), an alb ...
. This implies summer/winter seasonal contrast and a rather dry climate. Summers of the Ebro Valley most often mirror those of a
semiarid climate A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables ove ...
; some of them see more breaks of storms or showers, yet others are more
arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in d ...
bringing
drought A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorolog ...

drought
save where advanced irrigation is used. The valley
flood plain A floodplain or flood plain or bottomlands is an area of land adjacent to a river which stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls, and which experiences flooding during periods of high discharge.Goudi ...
s have
rainfall Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Rain water flux from a canopy. Among the forces that govern drop formation: cohesion, Van der Waals force">Cohesion_(chemistry).html" ;"title="surface tension, Cohesion (chemistry)">cohesion, ...

rainfall
between , with maxima in fall and spring. It is often covered with
chaparral Chaparral ( ) is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominance (ecology), dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, Herbaceous plant, herbs, and geophytes. Shrublan ...

chaparral
vegetation. Summers are hot and winters are cold. The dry summer season has temperatures of more than , occasionally reaching over . In winter, the temperatures often drop below . In some areas the vegetation depends heavily on moisture produced by condensation
fog Fog is a visible aerosol An aerosol (abbreviation of "aero-solution") is a suspension Suspension or suspended may refer to: Science and engineering * Suspension (topology), in mathematics * Suspension (dynamical systems), in mathematic ...

fog
. It is a
continental Mediterranean climate A continentalized Mediterranean climate is a variant of the temperate mediterranean climate with influences of a typical continental climate. It is found inland in the mediterannean region, far away from coasts. This climate is common in inland ...
with extreme temperatures. There are many
ground frost Ground frost refers to the various coverings of ice Ice is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it ...
s on clear nights, and sporadic
snow Snow comprises individual ice Ice is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). ...

snow
falls.


Soil and geology

The natural
topsoil Topsoil is the upper, outermost layer of soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements t ...
s across the plains are, outside of historically well-forested zones, thin. The subsoil being close to the surface is organically poor and quick-draining: calcareous, pebbly, stony layers. These are in places salt-rich, seeing some saltwater
endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences Atmospheri ...
lagoons.
Karst Karst is a topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially their depiction in maps). Topography ...

Karst
geological processes shaped the landscape of layers of soluble
carbonate rock Carbonate rocks are a class of sedimentary rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categori ...
of extensive limestone
bedrock Bedrock in geology Geology (from the γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is a branch of concerned with both the liquid and , the of which it is composed, and the processes by which they cha ...

bedrock
formed in an ancient seabed.
Aragonite Aragonite is a carbonate mineral Carbonate minerals are those mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid ...

Aragonite
, a mineral named for
Aragon Aragon ( or , Spanish and an, Aragón , ca, Aragó ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_n ...

Aragon
, attests to the fact that carbonates are abundant in the central Valley.


Flow volume

The valley expands and the Ebro's flow then becomes slower as its water volume increases, flowing across Aragon. There, larger tributaries flowing from the central Pyrenees and the Iberian System discharge large amounts of water, especially in spring during the thawing season of the mountain snow.


Ecosystems

The
biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
s are diverse in these Mediterranean climate zones:
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome is generally characterized by dry summers and rainy winters, although in some areas rainfall may be uniform. Summers are typically hot in ...
. Hinterlands are particularly distinctive on account of extensive
sclerophyll Sclerophyll is a type of vegetation that has hard leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , ...
shrublands known as maquis, or garrigues. The dominant species are ''
Quercus coccifera ''Quercus coccifera'', the kermes oak, is an oak An oak is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, ...

Quercus coccifera
'' (in drier areas) and ''
Quercus ilex ''Quercus ilex'', the evergreen oak, holly oak or holm oak, is a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. It takes its name from holm, an ancient name for holly. It is a member of the '' Cerris'' section Section, Sectioning or ...

Quercus ilex
''. These trees form monospecific communities or communities integrated with ''
Pinus A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The di ...

Pinus
'', Mediterranean
buckthorn ''Rhamnus'' is a genus of about 110 accepted species of shrubs or small trees, commonly known as buckthorns, in the family Rhamnaceae. Its species range from tall (rarely to ) and are native mainly in east Asia and North America, but found thr ...
s, ''
Myrtus ''Myrtus'', with the common name myrtle, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Myrtaceae, described by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, Linnaeus in 1753. Over 600 names have been proposed in the genus, but nearly all have either been mo ...
'', ''
Chamaerops humilis ''Chamaerops'' is a genus of flowering plants in the family Arecaceae. The only currently fully accepted species is ''Chamaerops humilis'', variously called European fan palm or the Mediterranean dwarf palm. It is one of the most hardy palms, c ...

Chamaerops humilis
'',
juniper Junipers are conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The divi ...

juniper
s, ''
Pistacia ''Pistacia'' is a genus of flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anyt ...
'', ''
Rosmarinus Rosmarinus ( ) is a small taxonomic clade of woody, perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kin ...
'', ''
Thymus The thymus is a specialized primary Lymphatic system#Structure, lymphoid organ of the immune system. Within the thymus, T cell, thymus cell lymphocytes or ''T cells'' mature. T cells are critical to the adaptive immune system, where the body ad ...

Thymus
'', and so on. The hinterland climate becomes progressively more continental and drier, and therefore there is an end from extreme temperatures accompanied by slow-growing dwarf juniper species to unvegetated desert steppes as in "llanos de Belchite" or "Calanda desert". The mountain vegetation is mostly coniferous forests that are drought-adapted, and hardier trees in the oak genus (''
Quercus An oak is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including on ...

Quercus
''), typically less tolerant, in the wetter highlands.
Halophile The halophiles, named after the Greek word for "salt-loving", are extremophiles that thrive in high salt concentrations. While most halophiles are classified into the domain Archaea, there are also bacterial halophiles and some Eukaryote, eukaryotic ...
s (
extremophile An extremophile (from Latin ' meaning "extreme" and Greek ' () meaning "love") is an organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochem ...
s as to salt) abound in zones of endorheic lagoons and their feeder creeks.
Tamarix The genus ''Tamarix'' (tamarisk, salt cedar, taray) is composed of about 50–60 species of flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is deriv ...

Tamarix
-covered, these include endemic species of
bryophyte Bryophytes are an informal group consisting of three divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new n ...

bryophyte
s, chenopodiaceas, plumbaginacea, ruppiaceaes, ''
Carex ''Carex'' is a vast genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circu ...

Carex
'', lythraceaes, asteraceaes, and others. Their presence is related to the marine origin of the valley and the extensive marine deposits. Just as it enters Catalonia, the valley narrows, and the river becomes constrained by mountain ranges, making wide bends. 3 massive dams have been built in this area: Mequinenza dam (
Province of Zaragoza Zaragoza (), also called Saragossa in English language, English,''Encyclopædia Britannica''Zaragoza (conventional Saragossa)/ref> is a Provinces of Spain, province of northern Spain, in the central part of the Autonomous communities of Spain, aut ...
, 1955), Riba-roja dam (1955), and
Flix Flix () is a town in the ''comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrative division found in Portugal, Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España. ...

Flix
dam (1948), the latter two in the
province of Tarragona A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
. In the final section of its course the river bends southwards and flows through spectacular gorges. The calcareous cliffs and high, rocky hills of the Serra de Cardó almost abut the river separating the Mediterranean coastal strip. After passing the gorges, the Ebro bends again eastwards near
Tortosa Tortosa (; ) is the capital of the ''comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnationa ...

Tortosa
before discharging in a
delta Delta commonly refers to: * Delta (letter) (Δ or δ), a letter of the Greek alphabet * River delta, a landform at the mouth of a river * D (NATO phonetic alphabet: "Delta"), the fourth letter of the modern English alphabet * Delta Air Lines, an Ame ...

delta
on the Mediterranean Sea close to
Amposta
Amposta
in the province of
Tarragona Tarragona ( , also , , ; Phoenician Phoenician may refer to: * Phoenicia, an ancient civilization * Phoenician alphabet * Phoenician language * List of Phoenician cities * Phoenix, Arizona See also * Phoenix (mythology) * Phoenicia (disambigu ...
.


The delta

The Ebro Delta ( ca, Delta de l'Ebre, links=no), in the
Province of Tarragona A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gen ...
,
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
, is at , or 20km² less, one of the largest
wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles ...

wetland
s of the western Mediterranean. Designated a
Ramsar site A Ramsar site is a wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked toge ...
, it has entirely grown on soils washed downriver—the historical rate of growth of the delta is demonstrated by the town of . Recorded and thus confirmed as a
seaport A port is a maritime Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes, the Canadian provinces of ...

seaport
in the Roman Warm Period in the 4th century, it is now well inland from the mouths. The rounded form of the delta attests to the subsequent balance between
sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently sediment transport, transported by the action of wind, water, or ice or by the force of gravity acting on the particles. ...

sediment
deposition by the Ebro and removal of this material by wave
erosion In earth science Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific ...

erosion
. The modern delta is in intensive
agricultural Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agricultural
use for rice, fruit (in particular citrus), and vegetables. The Ebro delta also has numerous beaches, marshes, and s that provide habitat for over 300 species of birds. The Ebro delta was classified as a wetland area of international interest by Spain's Bureau Mar in 1962. Since a phased-introduction law (1983 to 1986) Spain has designated as the Ebro Delta Natural Park ( ca, Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre, links=no) to protect its natural resources.Ebro Delta Natural Park
A network of canals and irrigation ditches dug by agricultural and conservation groups help to maintain the ecologic and economic resources of the delta.


Name

The Greeks called the river (''Ibēr''),(''abir''), ''ah'ir'' and the Ancient Rome, Romans called it the ''Hibēr'', ''Ibēr'', or ''Ibērus flūmen'', leading to its current name. The Iberian peninsula and the Iberians, ''Hibērī'' or ''Ibērī'' (the people of the area) were named after the river.Westrem, Scott D. ''The Hereford Map: A Transcription and Translation of the Legends With Commentary'', page 328. Brepols, 2001. It is not known with any certainty whether the Greeks used a local native name for the river. Nor is it known what the word "''Ibēr''" or "''Hibēr''" might mean. In modern Basque language, Basque the word ''ibar'' means 'valley' or 'watered meadow', while ''ibai'' means 'river', but there is no proof relating the etymology of the Ebro River with these Basque words. However, there are rivers in the Balkans called Ibar (river), Ibar (Montenegro and Serbia) and Maritsa, Evros (Bulgaria and Greece).


History

In classical antiquity, antiquity, the Ebro was used as the dividing line between Roman Republic, Roman (north) and Carthaginian Republic, Carthaginian (south) expansions after the First Punic War (264–241 BC). When the Roman Republic, fearful of Hannibal's growing influence in the Iberian Peninsula, made the city of Saguntum (considerably south of the Ebro) a protectorate of Rome, Hannibal viewed the treaty violation as an aggressive action by Rome and used the event as the catalyst to the Second Punic War. One of the earliest Cistercians, Cistercian monastery, monasteries in Spain, Real Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Rueda ( Monastery of Our Lady of the Wheel), is located on the banks of the Ebro in
Aragon Aragon ( or , Spanish and an, Aragón , ca, Aragó ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_n ...

Aragon
. Established in 1202, the edifice survives intact. The monastery is strongly connected to the Ebro, since it used one of the first large waterwheels built for the production of power in Spain. The monastery also diverted flow from the Ebro to create a circulating, hydrological central heating system for its buildings. The Ebro in 1938 was the starting ground of one of the most famous Second Spanish Republic, Republican offensives of the Spanish Civil War. Known as the Battle of the Ebro, the offensive ended in defeat for the Republican forces, although they enjoyed success in its first stages. They were not able to reach their objective of Gandesa.


Flow and floods

The Ebro is the most important river in Spain in terms of length, , and area of drainage basin, . However, the mean annual flow decreased by approximately 29 percent during the 20th century due to many causes: the construction of dams, the increasing demands for irrigation and the evaporation (higher than the rainfall, due to low rainfall, high sunshine and strong and dry winds) from reservoirs in the river basins. This situation has a direct impact on the deltaic system at the mouth of the river because its hydrological dynamics are mainly controlled by the river discharge. The decrease in river discharge has meant introduction of the Estuary#Salt wedge, salt wedge further into the river. The mean annual river flow is approximately the critical flow which determines the formation and the break-up of the salt wedge. Thus, when the river discharge is between , the salt wedge can occupy the last of the estuary, but when the discharge is between , the salt wedge can advance up to from the mouth. For less than , the salt wedge quickly advances to its maximum extent, reaching from the mouth. In addition to decreased mean annual flow, the increased river regulation in the Ebro basin has produced daily and seasonal changes in the flow pattern. With regards to the sediment load, several authors conclude that the sediment load was reduced by more than 99 percent during the last century. The drastic reduction in sediment transport implies a sediment deficit in the delta, which is causing the erosion of the coastline and lack of sediment replenishment. The unstable surface is due to weather changes and tidal surges. The river floods from time to time, although advance warning can now be given as a result of monitoring within the catchment area. The river flow in
Zaragoza Zaragoza, also known in English as Saragossa, is the capital city of the Province of Zaragoza, Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Aragon, Spain. It lies by the Ebro river and its tributaries, the ...

Zaragoza
during floods, from the end of the 19th century is as follows: *March 1888: *January 1891: *February 1892: *January 1895: *March 1930: *December 1930: *October 1937: *January 1941: *February 1952: *January 1961: *November 1966: *January 1981: *February 2003: *March 2003: *April 2007: The Ebro poured into the delta from 27 March 2007 to 11 April 2007, with an average of per day.


Ecology

Academics and local government have criticised ecological impacts of: *dams *pollution from populations *factories *agricultural dumping. *invasive species affecting the original ecosystem; the introduced species have rapidly caused the extinction of numerous indigenous species. In past times numerous lagoons, endorheic saline water, saltwater ponds, and freshwater swamps and marshes were drained, dried or filled. Almost entire riparian forests were cleared for crops or for pulpwood forest plantations. Due to these changes numerous plant and animal species have disappeared. Due to dams and hydraulic canalization, the dynamics of the river have been altered and new Meander#Scroll-bars, scroll-bars, new oxbow lakes, and new abandoned meanders will not now be created. Over a period of time, many of these phenomena tend to dry out or fill in with sediments. Some small representatives of these river dynamics and
wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles ...

wetland
s are protected. The Ebro Delta Natural Park, covering , was finalised in 1986 and is of international importance for 8 of its plant species and 69 of its vertebrate fauna. It has some 95 breeding species of birds, is also very important for a wide range of overwintering species, and serves as an essential stopover point for large numbers of bird migration, migratory birds. The Ebro delta has the world's largest colony of Audouin's gulls. In 2006 it held a record number of more than 15,000 pairs, its highest to date. The introduction of American crayfish ''Procambarus clarkii'' has resulted in economic losses, introduced elsewhere for cultivation, its success is attributable to its ability to colonise disturbed habitats that would deter the edible Astacus astacus, iberian crayfish. The semiaquatic rodent ''nutria, Myocastor coypus'' is beginning to expand in some northwest tributaries of the head damaging crops and protected national parks in the Basque Country (autonomous community), Basque Country. Fish caught in all lower reaches of the Ebro are high in Mercury (element), mercury and the European Union prohibits their sale, notably the huge Wels catfish. The zebra mussel, an invasive species, is expanding upstream in the Ebro's waters. Due to its rapid rate of reproduction, the species adversely affects the port's underwater machinery as well as that of dams and hydroelectric plants, in addition to competing with native species. Following the introduction of Wels catfish, many fish species' numbers are in clear and rapid decline. Since the Wels catfish's introduction in the Mequinenza Dam, Mequinenza reservoir in 1974, it has spread to other parts of the Ebro and its tributaries, especially the river Segre, Segre. Some endemics species of iberian Barbel (fish), barbels, genus ''Barbus'' in the Cyprinidae, have declined drastically, having once been abundant, especially in the Ebro. Competition and predation by Wels catfish caused its complete disappearance in the middle channel Ebro around 1990. Barbel species from mountain stream tributaries of the Ebro that Wels catfish have not colonized were not affected. The ecology of the river also now has the problem of a major increase in aquatic vegetation, seaweed and algae.


See also

* Hydrological transport model * List of rivers of Spain


Notes and citations

;Footnotes ;Citations


External links

*
The River Ebro and DeltaThe Ebro Delta at Google Maps
*[http://www.flordeldelta.com/data_en/sal-gourmet.php The Trinidad Salt Pans within the Ebro River Delta Nature Reserve]
Awarded "EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence" non traditional tourist destination 2009
in the ''Columbia Encyclopedia'' {{Authority control Rivers of Spain Rivers of Cantabria Rivers of Castile and León Rivers of La Rioja (Spain) Rivers of Navarre Rivers of Aragon Rivers of Catalonia Ebro basin, * Rivers of Burgos European drainage basins of the Mediterranean Sea