Alpes de haute provence


Bordering on Italy, the department of Alp-of-High-Provence east surrounds by the departments of the Alpes-Maritimes, the VAr, Vaucluse, Drome and Hautes-Alpes. It can be divided in three zones of relief, climate, settlement and economy:

  • the plates, hills and valleys of High-Provence, which gather a third of surface but two thirds of the population, the near total of the economic activity apart from tourism of mountain and the most important cities of the department. The valley of the Durance, artery of the department, cuts this zone in two halves;
  • Prealpes, intermediate mountainous area with the valleys encaissees and the villages very enclaves;
  • the Large Alps, which gather the valleys of Ubaye, White and the high Verdon (upstream of the Colmars-the-Alps), or the economy was rebuilt around tourism of mountain (ski stations). Into High-Ubaye, the tops exceed 3 000 m of altitude and all the collars border or exceed the 2 000 m of altitude.

In this part of the department one of the highest roads of Europe is: the secondary road D64 reaches the altitude of 2 802 m above the collar of the Cap (2 715 m) and connects the country of Barcelonnette to Tinee and Vesubie.

The relief compartmentalizes the area: the valleys encaissees from time immemorial were of difficult access, dividing the country into as many soils not communicating very little with outside. In 1877,55 communes for only access only paths or mule tracks had.


The principal river is the Durance, which circulates in the west of the department. It is in this valley that one finds the axes of circulation most important (A51 motorway, railway, main road). The near total of the department is in the catchment area of the Durance, except for extreme south-east (cantons of Annot and Entrevaux) drains by the VAr. Its principal affluents in the department are Ubaye, Bleone, the Adze and the Verdon for left bank, Buech, Jabron and the Loose one for Right Bank. All these affluents are torrential, and can be prone has violent and brutal risings when violent ones storms fall down in autumn, as has high waters dependent on the snow melt in spring for the rivers of mountain. The Durance, the Verdon, Bleone then Buech were transports to the XX E century with the construction of several stoppings and the deviation of part of the rivers for the irrigation and the electrical production.

source: wikipedia.

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