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The Ebro
Ebro
in English (also in Spanish, Aragonese and Basque: [ˈeβɾo]'Ebre'Catalan: [ˈeβɾə, ˈeβɾe]) is one of the most important rivers on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the second longest river in the Iberian peninsula
Iberian peninsula
after the Tagus
Tagus
and the second biggest by discharge volume and by drainage area after the Duero. The Ebro
Ebro
flows through the following cities: Reinosa
Reinosa
in Cantabria; Frías and Miranda de Ebro
Miranda de Ebro
in Castile and León; Haro, Logroño, Calahorra, and Alfaro in La Rioja; Tudela in Navarre; Alagón, Utebo, Zaragoza, and Caspe
Caspe
in Aragon; and Flix, Móra d'Ebre, Benifallet, Tivenys, Xerta, Aldover, Tortosa, and Amposta
Amposta
in Catalonia.

Contents

1 Geography

1.1 Delta geography

2 Name 3 History 4 Flow and floods 5 Ecology 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

Geography[edit]

The source of the Ebro
Ebro
in Fontibre.

The source of the river Ebro
Ebro
is in Fontibre
Fontibre
(Cantabria), from the Latin words Fontes Iberis, source of the Ebro. Close by is a large artificial lake, Embalse del Ebro, created by the damming of the river. The upper Ebro
Ebro
rushes through rocky gorges in Burgos Province. Flowing roughly eastwards it begins forming a wider river valley of limestone rocks when it reaches Navarre
Navarre
and La Rioja thanks to many tributaries flowing down from the Iberian System on one side, and the Navarre
Navarre
mountains and the western Pyrenees, on the other. There, the climate (the valley being isolated from sea air masses by surrounding mountains) becomes progressively more continental, with more extreme temperatures and drier characteristics, and therefore typically experiencing hot (sometimes very hot) and dry summers which closely resemble summers seen in arid and semiarid climates. Karst
Karst
geological processes shaped the landscape of layers of soluble carbonate rock of extensive limestone bedrock formed in an ancient seabed. Aragonite, a mineral named for Aragon, attests to the fact that carbonates are abundant in the central Ebro
Ebro
Valley. 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
Pyrenees
and the Iberian System discharge large amounts of water, especially in spring during the thawing season of the mountain snow. As it flows through Zaragoza
Zaragoza
the Ebro, is already a sizeable river. There, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar stands next to the Ebro. The soils in most of the valley are primarily poor soils: calcareous, pebbly, stony, and sometimes salted with saltwater endorheic lagoons. The semi-arid interior of the Ebro Valley
Ebro Valley
has either drought summers and a semi-desert climate with rainfall between 400 and 600 mm (16–24 in), with a maximum in the fall and spring. It is covered with chaparral vegetation. Summers are hot and winters are cold. The dry summer season has temperatures of more than 35 °C (95 °F), occasionally reaching over 40 °C (104 °F). In winter, the temperatures often drop below 0 °C (32 °F). In some areas the vegetation depends heavily on moisture produced by condensation fog. It is a continental Mediterranean climate with extreme temperatures. There are many ground frosts on clear nights, and sporadic snowfalls. The biomes are diverse in these Mediterranean climate zones: Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub. Hinterlands are particularly distinctive on account of extensive sclerophyll shrublands known as maquis, or garrigues. The dominant species are Quercus coccifera
Quercus coccifera
(in drier areas) and Quercus
Quercus
ilex. These trees form monospecific communities or communities integrated with Pinus, Mediterranean buckthorns, Myrtus, Chamaerops humilis, junipers, Pistacia, Rosmarinus, 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 trees in the genus Quercus
Quercus
with different drought tolerance in the wetter highlands. Halophiles extremophile characteristic communities are frequent in endorheic areas such as lagoons and creeks, which are Tamarix
Tamarix
covered and include endemic species of bryophytes, chenopodiaceas, plumbaginacea, ruppiaceaes, Carex, lythraceaes, asteraceaes, etc. Their presence is related to the marine origin of the Ebro
Ebro
valley and the extensive marine deposits in the same area. After reaching Catalonia, the Ebro Valley
Ebro Valley
narrows, and the river becomes constrained by mountain ranges, making wide bends. Massive dams have been built in this area, such as the dams at Mequinenza, Riba-roja and Flix. In the final section of its course the river bends southwards and flows through spectacular gorges. The massive calcareous cliffs of the Serra de Cardó
Serra de Cardó
range constrain the river during this last stretch, separating the Ebro Valley
Ebro Valley
from the Mediterranean coastal area. After passing the gorges, the Ebro
Ebro
bends again eastwards near Tortosa
Tortosa
before discharging in a delta on the Mediterranean Sea close to Amposta
Amposta
in the province of Tarragona. Delta geography[edit] Main article: Ebro
Ebro
Delta

The Ebro Delta
Ebro Delta
from space

Aerial photograph
Aerial photograph
of the Ebro
Ebro
as it reaches the Mediterranean sea
Mediterranean sea
by the Ebro
Ebro
Delta

The Ebro Delta
Ebro Delta
(Catalan: Delta de l'Ebre), in the Province of Tarragona, Catalonia, is at 340 km2 (130 sq mi) one of the largest wetland areas in the western Mediterranean region. The delta has expanded rapidly on soils washed downriver—the historical rate of growth of the delta is demonstrated by the town of Amposta. A seaport in the 4th century, it is now well inland from the current rivermouth. The rounded form of the delta attests to the balance between sediment deposition by the Ebro
Ebro
and removal of this material by wave erosion. The modern delta is in intensive agricultural use for rice, fruit (in particular citrus), and vegetables. The Ebro
Ebro
delta also has numerous beaches, marshes, and salt pans that provide habitat for over 300 species of birds. In 1983 Spain
Spain
designated a large part of the delta as the Ebro Delta
Ebro Delta
Natural Park (Catalan: Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre) to protect its natural resources.[1] A network of canals and irrigation ditches constructed by both agricultural and conservation groups are helping to maintain the ecologic and economic resources of the Ebro
Ebro
Delta. Name[edit] The Greeks called the river Ἴβηρ (Ibēr), and the Romans called it the Hibēr, Ibēr, or Ibērus flūmen, leading to its current name. The Iberian peninsula
Iberian peninsula
and the Hibērī or Ibērī (the people of the area) were named after the river.[2] It is not known with any certainty whether the Greeks used a local native name for the river, nor what the word "Ibēr" or "Hibēr" might mean. In modern 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 (Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo) and Evros (Bulgaria and Greece). History[edit]

The Ebro
Ebro
in Miranda de Ebro.

In antiquity, the Ebro
Ebro
was used as the dividing line between Roman (north) and 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 Cistercian monasteries in Spain, Real Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Rueda (lit. Royal Monastery
Monastery
of Our Lady of the Wheel), is located on the banks of the Ebro
Ebro
in 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
Ebro
to create a circulating, hydrological central heating system for its buildings. The Ebro
Ebro
in 1938 was the starting ground of one of the most famous 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[edit]

The Ebro
Ebro
gorge in es: Pesquera de Ebro.

The Ebro
Ebro
is the most important river in Spain
Spain
in terms of length, 928 km (577 mi), and area of drainage basin, 85,550 km2 (33,030 sq mi). 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 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 300 and 400 m3/s (11,000 and 14,000 cu ft/s), the salt wedge can occupy the last 5 km (3 mi) of the estuary, but when the discharge is between 100 and 300 m3/s (3,500 and 10,600 cu ft/s), the salt wedge can advance up to 18 km (11 mi) from the mouth. For less than 100 m3/s (3,500 cu ft/s), the salt wedge quickly advances to its maximum extent, reaching 32 km (20 mi) from the mouth. In addition to decreased mean annual flow, the increased river regulation in the Ebro
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 during floods, from the end of the 19th century is as follows:

March 1888: 3,760 m3/s (132,800 cu ft/s) January 1891: 3,250 m3/s (114,800 cu ft/s) February 1892: 3,790 m3/s (133,800 cu ft/s) January 1895: 3,118 m3/s (110,100 cu ft/s) March 1930: 3,600 m3/s (127,100 cu ft/s)

December 1930: 3,000 m3/s (105,900 cu ft/s) October 1937: 3,000 m3/s (105,900 cu ft/s) January 1941: 4,000 m3/s (141,300 cu ft/s) February 1952: 3,260 m3/s (115,100 cu ft/s) January 1961: 4,130 m3/s (145,800 cu ft/s)

November 1966: 3,154 m3/s (111,400 cu ft/s) January 1981: 2,940 m3/s (103,800 cu ft/s) February 2003: 2,988 m3/s (105,500 cu ft/s) March 2003: 2,220 m3/s (78,400 cu ft/s) April 2007: 2,282 m3/s (80,600 cu ft/s)

The Ebro
Ebro
poured 1,874 million cubic metres (1,519,000 acre feet) into the delta from 27 March 2007 to 11 April 2007, with an average of 117 million cubic metres (95,000 acre feet) per day. Ecology[edit] There are concerns about the ecological impact of dams, pollution from populations, factories, and agricultural dumping. Invasive species
Invasive species
are also a burden, affecting much of the original ecosystem; the introduced species have rapidly caused the extinction of numerous indigenous species. In past times numerous lagoons, endorheic 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 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 wetlands are protected. The Ebro Delta
Ebro Delta
Natural Park, with a total surface area of 7,802 hectares (19,280 acres), was established 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 migratory birds. The Ebro
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
Procambarus clarkii
has resulted in economic losses, introduced elsewhere for cultivation, its success is attributable to its ability to colonise disturbed habitats that would be unsuitable for the edible iberian crayfish. The semiaquatic rodent Myocastor coypus or nutria is beginning to expand in some northwest tributaries of the head damaging crops and protected national parks in the Basque Country. Fish caught in the Ebro
Ebro
are high in mercury and the European Union
European Union
prohibits the sale of Ebro
Ebro
fish, 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 reservoir in 1974, it has spread to other parts of the Ebro
Ebro
and its tributaries, especially the Segre. Some endemics species of iberian barbels, genus Barbus
Barbus
in the Cyprinidae, having once been abundant especially in the Ebro. Competition and predation by Wels catfish
Wels catfish
has caused its complete disappearance in the middle channel Ebro
Ebro
around 1990. The ecology of the river also now has a major development in the amount of aquatic vegetation, seaweed and algae. Barbel species from mountain stream tributaries of the Ebro
Ebro
that Wels catfish
Wels catfish
have not colonized were not affected. See also[edit]

Hydrological transport model List of rivers of Spain

Notes[edit]

This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (June 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

^ Ebro Delta
Ebro Delta
Natural Park Archived 2008-01-15 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Westrem, Scott D. The Hereford Map: A Transcription and Translation of the Legends With Commentary, page 328. Brepols, 2001.

References[edit]

" Ebro
Ebro
River Delta, Northeastern Spain". NASA Earth Observatory. Archived from the original on 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2006-05-24.  Ebro
Ebro
in the Columbia Encyclopedia

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ebro
Ebro
River.

 "Ebro". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). 1911.  The River Ebro
Ebro
and Delta The Ebro Delta
Ebro Delta
from Space The Ebro Delta
Ebro Delta
at Google Maps Photo gallery of the Ebro Delta
Ebro Delta
and surrounding area: birds, landscapes and people The Trinidad Salt Pans within the Ebro
Ebro
River Delta Nature Reserve Awarded "EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence" non traditional tourist destination 2009

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 244101666 GND: 409227

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