Ebro - Geography

Geography

Its source is in Fontibre (Cantabria), from the Latin words Fontes Iberis, source of the Ebro. The upper Ebro rushes through rocky gorges in Burgos Province. Flowing roughly eastwards it begins forming a wider river valley when it reaches Navarre and La Rioja thanks to many tributaries flowing down from the Iberian System on one side, and the Navarre mountains and the western Pyrenees, on the other.

The valley expands and the Ebro's flow then becomes slower as its water volume increases flowing across Aragon. There, massive 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. As it flows through Zaragoza the Ebro, emblematic river of Aragon, is already a sizeable river. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar stands next to the Ebro.

After reaching Catalonia the Ebro Valley narrows and the river becomes constrained by mountain ranges, making wide bends. Massive dams have been built in this area, like the dams at Mequinensa, Riba-roja, Flix. In the final section of its course it bends southwards and flows through spectacular gorges. The massive calcareous cliffs of the Serra de Cardó range constrain the river during this last stretch, separating the Ebro Valley from the Mediterranean coastal area. After passing the gorges, the Ebro bends again eastwards near Tortosa before discharging in a delta on the Mediterranean close to Amposta in the province of Tarragona.

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