Iberian Peninsula

Iberian Peninsula, c.230,400 sq mi (596,740 sq km), SW Europe, separated from the rest of Europe by the Pyrenees. Comprising Spain and Portugal, it is washed on the N and W by the Atlantic Ocean and on the S and E by the Mediterranean Sea; the Strait of Gibraltar separates it from Africa. The Iberian Peninsula is dominated by the Meseta (central plateau), a great uplifted fault block (average elevation 2,000 ft/610 m) ringed and crossed by mountain ranges. It covers about two thirds of the peninsula. Coastal lowlands, the site of the major industrial cities, surround the primarily agrarian-oriented Meseta. Climatically, the Iberian Peninsula has hot summers, cold winters, and limited precipitation. Five major rivers drain the peninsula.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Iberian Peninsula from Fact Monster:

  • Meseta - Meseta: Meseta: see Iberian Peninsula.
  • Peninsular War - Peninsular War Peninsular War, 1808–14, fought by France against Great Britain, Portugal, ...
  • Portugal - Portugal Portugal , officially Portuguese Republic, republic (2005 est. pop. 10,566,000), 35,553 sq ...
  • Euric - Euric Euric , d. c.484, king of the Visigoths (466–c.484), brother and successor of Theodoric ...
  • Guadiana - Guadiana Guadiana , river, 510 mi (821 km) long, rising in the La Mancha Plateau, E Spain. It flows ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese Physical Geography