Dinaric Alps (dĪnârˈĭk) [key], Ital. Alpi Dinariche, Serbo-Croatian Dinara Planina, mountain system, extending c.400 mi (640 km) along the east coast of the Adriatic Sea from the Isonzo River, NE Italy, through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia, to the Drin River, N Albania. The highest peak is Jezerce (8,833 ft/2,692 m) in N Albania. The system, linked to the main Alpine group by the Julian Alps, consists of the Dinaric Alps proper, Velebit Mts., Karst plateau, and North Albanian Alps. The partially submerged western part of the system forms the numerous islands and harbors along the Croatian coast. The rugged mountains, composed of limestone and dolomite, are a barrier to travel from the coast to the interior; there are no natural passes. Sinkholes and caverns dominate the landscape. The region is sparsely populated and forestry and mining are the chief economic activities.
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