The Southern Carpathians (Romanian: Carpații Meridionali, Serbian: Јужни Карпати/Južni Karpati, Hungarian: Déli-Kárpátok) are a group of mountain ranges that divide central and southern Romania, on one side, and Serbia, on the other. They cover the part of the Carpathian Mountains located between the Prahova River in the east and the Timiș and Cerna Rivers in the west. To the south they are bounded by the Balkan mountain range in Serbia.


Southern Carpathians

The Southern Carpathian are the second highest group of mountains in the Carpathian Mountain range (after Tatra), reaching heights of over 2,500 meters. Although considerably smaller than the Alps, they are classified as having an alpine landscape. Their high mountain character, combined with great accessibility, makes them popular with tourists and scientists.

The highest peaks are:

  • Moldoveanu Peak, 2,544 metres - FăgăraÈ™ Mountains
  • Negoiu, 2,535 metres - FăgăraÈ™ Mountains
  • Parângu Mare, 2,519 metres - Parâng Mountains
  • Peleaga, 2,509 metres - Retezat Mountains
  • Omu Peak 2,507 metres - Bucegi Mountains

Despite the heights, some of the most accessible passages in the Carpathians in Romania are along the rivers, which cross the mountain range (the Olt River) or form wide valleys (along the Prahova River Valley or along the Jiu River Valley).


The South Carpathians represent an intricate pile of tectonic nappes, overthrusted from west eastwards during the Austrian (Middle Cretaceous) and Laramian paroxysmal phases, corresponding to various plate fragments. The napes are (from west eastwards): the Supragetic, Getic, Severin and Danubian Units. The Getic Nappe was identified by Murgoci (1905), while the general understanding over the Alpine structure of the South Carpathians was later refined by Codarcea (1940), Codarcea et al. (1961), Năstăseanu et al. (1981), Săndulescu (1984), Săndulescu and Dimitrescu (2004), and Mutihac (1990). The first to apply the global tectonics concepts for the Romanian Carpathians were Rădulescu and Săndulescu (1973).

The Supragetic, Getic Nappes as well as the Danubian Units represent units with both a metamorphic basement and a sedimentary cover, while the Severin Nappe includes only a sedimentary sequence. The Getic Nappe and the Danubian Units sediments include a Palaeozoic sequence (Upper Carboniferous, Lower Permian) and a Mesozoic sequence (Lowermost Jurassic - Middle Cretaceous). The Supragetic Nappe comprises mainly metamorphosed rocks (gneisses, micashists), while the Severin Nappe includes only Upper Jurassic - Lower Cretaceous sediments.

§Mountain ranges

Southern Carpathians

From east to west, four mountain groups can be identified, separated by different river valleys.

  • Bucegi Mountains group - between the Prahova and DâmboviÅ£a Rivers.
    • Bucegi Mountains (MunÈ›ii Bucegi)
    • Piatra Craiului (literally: "Rock of the King")
    • Leaotă Mountains (MunÈ›ii Leaotă)
  • FăgăraÅŸ Mountains group - between the DâmboviÈ›a River and the Olt River.
    • FăgăraÅŸ Mountains (MunÈ›ii FăgăraÈ™ului)
    • Iezer Mountains (MunÈ›ii Iezer; literally: "Mountains of the Deep Lake")
    • Cozia Mountains (MunÈ›ii Cozia)
  • Parâng Mountains group - between the Olt River and the Jiu River.
    • Parâng Mountains (MunÈ›ii Parâng)
    • Åžureanu Mountains (MunÈ›ii Șureanu/M. SebeÈ™ului)
    • Cindrel Mountains (MunÈ›ii Cindrel/M. Cibinului)
    • Lotru Mountains (MunÈ›ii Lotrului; literally: "Mountains of the Thief")
    • Căpăţână Mountains (MunÈ›ii Căpățânii; literally: "Mountains of the Skull")
  • Retezat-Godeanu Mountains group - between the Jiu River and the TimiÈ™ and Cerna Rivers.
    • Retezat Mountains (MunÈ›ii Retezat; literally: "Hewed Mountains")
    • Godeanu Mountains (MunÈ›ii Godeanu)
    • Vâlcan Mountains (MunÈ›ii Vâlcan)
    • MehedinÅ£i Mountains (MunÈ›ii MehendinÈ›i)
    • Cerna Mountains (MunÈ›ii Cernei)
    • Å¢arcu Mountains (MunÈ›ii Èšarcu; literally: "Pen Mountains").

The first two groups are steepest on the North side, and the last two are steepest on the South side.


§See also

  • Divisions of the Carpathians
  • Iron Gates, at the South-Western end
  • Prahova Valley, at the Eastern end


§External links

  • Pictures and landscapes from the Southern Carpathians

Posting Komentar