Massif Central

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Massif Central
Puy de dome 2001-12-15.jpg
Puy de Dôme is the highest volcano in the chain of volcanoes Chaine des Puys
Highest point
PeakPuy de Sancy
Elevation1,886 m (6,188 ft)
Coordinates45°31′42″N 2°48′51″E / 45.52833°N 2.81417°E / 45.52833; 2.81417
Geography
Location of the Massif Central in France
CountryFrance
States/Provinces
Range coordinates46°N 3°E / 46°N 3°E / 46; 3Coordinates: 46°N 3°E / 46°N 3°E / 46; 3
 
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Massif Central
Puy de dome 2001-12-15.jpg
Puy de Dôme is the highest volcano in the chain of volcanoes Chaine des Puys
Highest point
PeakPuy de Sancy
Elevation1,886 m (6,188 ft)
Coordinates45°31′42″N 2°48′51″E / 45.52833°N 2.81417°E / 45.52833; 2.81417
Geography
Location of the Massif Central in France
CountryFrance
States/Provinces
Range coordinates46°N 3°E / 46°N 3°E / 46; 3Coordinates: 46°N 3°E / 46°N 3°E / 46; 3

The Massif Central (Occitan: Massís Central / Massís Centrau) is an elevated region in south-central France, consisting of mountains and plateaux.

Subject to volcanism that has subsided in the last 10,000 years, these central mountains are separated from the Alps by a deep north-south cleft created by the Rhône River and known in French as the sillon rhodanien (literally "the furrow of the Rhône").

The region was a barrier to communication until the opening of the A75 motorway, which not only made north-south travel easier, but also opened up the Massif Central itself.

The Massif Central is situated in the middle of southern France and it covers 15 percent of the country.

Administration[edit]

The following départements are generally considered as part of the Massif Central: Allier, Ardèche, Aude, Aveyron, Cantal, Corrèze, Creuse, Gard, Haute-Loire, Haute-Vienne, Hérault, Loire, Lot, Lozère, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône and Tarn.

The following régions are part of the Massif Central: Auvergne, Limousin. Part of the following régions are in the Massif Central: Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées, and Rhône-Alpes.

The largest cities are Clermont-Ferrand and Saint-Étienne.

Volcanic rocks on the northern part of Massif Central dominate the south of France to the west of the Rhône valley, while limestone, granite, and slate (schist) dominate the southern part.

Geology[edit]

The Massif Central is a distinct physiographic province of the smaller Central European Uplands division. The entire region contains a large concentration of extinct volcanoes with approximately 450 volcanoes. One strip alone running north to south and less than 60 square miles (160 km2) contains 115 of them.[citation needed] The Auvergne Volcanoes National Park is in the massif.

Mountains[edit]

Mountain ranges, with notable individual mountains, are (roughly north-to-south):

Puy de Sancy (1886 m)
The Cévennes range

Plateaux[edit]

Causse Méjean

References[edit]

See also[edit]