Galicia is traversed by mountain ranges, sometimes regarded as a continuation of the Cantabrian chain; and its surface is further broken in the east by the westernmost ridges of that system, which, running in a south-westerly direction, rise above the basin of the Mino.
The Ebro rises at Fuentibre, a hamlet among the Cantabrian Mountains, in the province of Santander; at Reinosa, 4 m.
The surface of the country is for the most part very mountainous, being traversed towards the south by the great Cantabrian chain; but at the same time it is diversified with numerous narrow valleys and small plains.
Asturias consists of a portion of the northern slope of the Cantabrian Mountains,and is covered in all directions with offshoots from the main chain, by which it is almost completely shut in on the south.
The existing frontier is marked on the north by the Cantabrian Mountains; on the east by the Sierra de la Demanda with its offshoots, and by the Serrania de Cuenca; on the south by the Sierra Morena; and on the west by various minor ranges which link together the three more or less parallel chains of the Sierra de Gredos, Sierra de Guadalupe and Sierra Morena.
Cantabrian Mountains >>
Mondonedo occupies a sheltered valley among the northern outliers of the Cantabrian Mountains.
TINEO, a town of northern Spain, in the province of Oviedo; on a small tributary of the river Narcea, among the northern outliers of the Cantabrian Mountains, and on the high road from Cangas de Tineo to the Biscayan port of Cudillero.
It is traversed from east to west by the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Mountains, and almost the whole of the province is overrun by the ramifications of these ranges.
The greater part of the interior of Spain is composed of a table-land bounded by the Cantabrian Mountains in the north and the Sierra Morena in the south, and divided into two by a series Central of mountain ranges stretching on the whole from east Table-land to west.
The passes across the Cantabrian Mountains in the north are tolerably numerous, and several of them are crossed by railways.
In its eastern section the chain is crossed by the railways from Burgos to Bilbao and San Sebastian; the last-named line winds through the wild and romantic gorge of Pancorbo (in the north-east of the province of Burgos) before it traverses the Cantabrian chain at Idiazabal.
Its culnunating point, the Plaza de Almanzor, attains the height of 8730 ft., not far short of that of the highest Cantabrian summits.
The Triassic system is well developed in the north of the peninsula along the Cantabrian chain and eastwards to the Mediterranean.
The lower members of the Cretaceous series include an important fresh-water formation (sandstones and clays), which extends from the Cantabrian coast through the provinces of Santander, Burgos, Soria and Logrono, and is supposed to represent the English Wealden series.
The largest tract of them is to be seen to the south of the Cantabrian chain; but another, of hardly inferior extent, flanks the Sierra de Guadarrama, and spreads out over the great plain from Madrid to Cceres.
M., and includes the greater part of the vast plateau of Old Castile, between the watersheds of the Cantabrian Mountains, on the north, and the Guadarrama, Gredos, Gata and Estrella ranges, on the south.