The Carpathian Mountains are an epigeosynclinal mountain chain forming the eastern continuation of the Alps. From the Danube Gap near Bratislava (Czechoslovakia) they swing in a wide arc (some 1450 km long) to near the town of Orşova (Romania) in that part of the Danube valley known as the Iron Gate. To the north, north-west, north-east and south, the morphostructures of the Carpathians are bordered by the sub-Carpathian structural depression (see Fig. 15.1) which separates the mountains from other morphostructural elements of Europe, especially from the platform areas such as the Bohemian massif (see Chapter 9) and the east European platform. Within the arc formed by the Carpathians lies the Pannonian Basin, an area of subsidence consisting of the Little and the Great Central Danubian (Hungarian) Lowland Plains. Separating these two depressions are the Transdanubian block mountains of relatively moderate relief.
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