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turismosobrarbe.comComarca de Sobrarbe

Nature

Glaciers in the Pyrenees

Glaciers in the Pyrenees

The valleys and mountains in Sobrarbe were carved by Quaternary glaciers, as it is shown by the wide glacial cirques found in the valley heads, in U-shaped valleys, in moraine deposits at different heights or in the hanging valleys. But we do not only find these inherited glacial shapes, but also the current glaciers 2700m high above sea level, in the summits of Posets, Monte Perdido and Vignemale.



The weather is responsible for the size of theses glaciers. Currently, we find alpine weather in the high valleys of Sobrarbe, with heavy rainfalls (1000mm yearly, even exceeding 2000mm in the summits); yearly average temperatures are below 10ºC in the valleys and below 0ºC in the summits.

Glaciers in Sobrarbe are a residual feature, since the number, size and volume of glaciers in the Pyrenees has been decimated. Therefore, we can find in this county the last glaciers in the Pyrenees, like the Monte Perdido Glaciers. Currently, they constitute one of the most impressive glacial landscapes in the Pyrenees, and its singularity rests on its southern settlement in reference to Europe, an extreme environment for glaciers. The Monte Perdido Glaciers are situated on the mountain north face of the Pineta cirque, and they stretch over 60ha.



Lesser glaciers can be found in Posets, the only medium-size glacier; we find also some snowfields in the Vignemale Massif, or in Robiñera, on the Barrosa Cirque in the Bielsa Valley.

The Aragon Government has protected glaciers by law, passed on Law 2/1990 21th March on Natural Monument Declaration of Glaciers in the Pyrenees, in order to preseve and protect them for educative, scientific, cultural and leisure purposes.