Divisions of the Carpathians

Map of the main divisions of the Carpathians.
1. Outer Western Carpathians
2. Inner Western Carpathians
3. Outer Eastern Carpathians
4. Inner Eastern Carpathians
5. Southern Carpathians
6. Western Romanian Carpathians
7. Transylvanian Plateau
8. Serbian Carpathians
Main article: Carpathian Mountains

Divisions of the Carpathians are categorization of the Carpathian mountains system.

Below is a detailed overview of the major subdivisions and ranges of the Carpathian Mountains. The Carpathians are a "subsystem" of a bigger Alps-Himalaya System that stretches from the western Europe all the way to southern Asia, and are further divided into "provinces" and "subprovinces". The last level of the division, i.e. the actual mountain ranges and basins, is usually classified as "units". The main divisions are shown in the map on the right.

To generalize, there are three major provinces (regions): Western Carpathians, Eastern Carpathians, and Southern Carpathians.

Naming Conventions

The division is largely (with many exceptions) undisputed at the lowest level (except for the Ukrainian part), but various divisions are given for the higher levels, especially for the penultimate level. A geomorphological division has been used as much as the data was available; other new physiogeographic divisions were used in other cases. Where the classification of a higher level "title" is known/sure, it is added at the end of the name in brackets, e.g. "(subprovince)".


The names are also given in the language of the corresponding country and marked by the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes:

The most confusing area may be the Beskids and the Eastern Beskids and the Ukrainian Carpathians. Their geologic features are fairly distinct, but multiple traditions, languages and nationalities have developed overlapping variants for the divisions and names of these ranges.

In Romania, it is usual to divide the Eastern Carpathians in Romanian territory into three geographical groups (north, center, south), instead in Outer and Inner Eastern Carpathians. The Romanian approach is shown by adding the following abbreviations to the names of units within Romania:

The Transylvanian Plateau is encircled by, and geologically a part of, the Carpathians. But it is not a mountainous region and its inclusion is disputed in some sources. Its features are included below.

The Serbian Carpathians are sometimes considered part of the Southern Carpathians (together with the Banat Mountains), sometimes not considered part of the Carpathians at all. They're included below.

The Outer Carpathian Depressions lay outside the broad arc of the entire formation and are usually listed as part of the individual divisions of the Carpathian Mountains, i.e. of Western Carpathians, Eastern Carpathians etc. With the difficulty of finding their exact subdivisions, they are given only as a list of the final units (mountains" etc.) from the west to the east and south, in a separate listing at the end.

Western Carpathians (province)

Geomorphological Structure of Carpathian

Outer Western Carpathians (subprovince)

South-Moravian Carpathians (CZ) / Austrian - South-Moravian Carpathians (AT) (area)

(CZ: Jihomoravské Karpaty, AT: Österreichisch-Südmährische Karpaten)

Central Moravian Carpathians (CZ) (area)

(CZ: Středomoravské Karpaty)

Slovak-Moravian Carpathians (CZ/SK) (area)

(CZ/SK: Slovensko-moravské Karpaty)

West-Beskidian Piedmont (CZ / PL) (area)

(CZ: Západobeskydské podhůří, PL: Pogórze Zachodniobeskidzkie)

Western Beskids (CZ / SK / PL) (area)

(CZ: Západní Beskydy, SK: Západné Beskydy, PL: Beskidy Zachodnie)

cont. (Polish) Western Beskids (PL) (PL: Beskidy Zachodnie)

Central Beskids (SK) / cont. (Polish) Western Beskids (PL) (area)

(SK: Stredné Beskydy, PL: Beskidy Zachodnie)

Eastern Beskids (SK) / cont. (Polish) Western Beskids (PL) (area)

(SK: Východné Beskydy, PL: Beskidy Zachodnie)

Podhale-Magura Area (SK)/ Orava-Podhale Depression (PL)[2] (area)

(SK: Podhôľno-magurská oblasť, PL: Obniżenie Orawsko-Podhalańskie)

Inner Western Carpathians (subprovince)

Slovak Ore Mountains (SK) (area)

SK: Slovenské rudohorie
The Slovak Ore Mountains within Slovakia in grey

Fatra-Tatra Area (SK/PL/AT) * (area)

Slovak:Fatransko-tatranská oblasť
Fatra-Tatra area within Slovakia in red

Slovak Central Mountains (Slovenské stredohorie) (SK) (area)

SK: Slovenské stredohorie, EN: Slovakian mid-mountainous region
Location of Slovak mid-mountainous region in Slovakia (in gray)

Lučenec-Košice Depression (SK/HU) (area)

SK: Lučensko-košická zníženina

Mátra-Slanec Area (SK) /North Hungarian Mountains (HU) (area)

SK: Matransko-slanská oblasť, HU: Északi-középhegység

Eastern Carpathians (province)

Clarification: In Ukraine sometimes is denoted as "Eastern Carpathians" only the part basically on their territory (i.e.to the north of the Prislop Pass), while in Romania sometimes use to call "Eastern Carpathians" (Carpații Orientali) only the other part, which lies on their territory (i.e. from the Ukrainian border or from the Prislop Pass to the south). In Poland Central Beskidian Piedmont and Lower Beskids belongs to Western Carpathians province and Outer Western Carpathians subprovince.

Outer Eastern Carpathians (subprovince)

Central Beskidian Piedmont (PL)***

PL: Pogórze Środkowobeskidzkie

Lower Beskids (SK) / Central Beskids (PL)[3] (area)

SK: Nízke Beskydy, PL: Beskidy Środkowe

Eastern Beskids and the Ukrainian Carpathians (area)

Known variously as the Eastern Beskids (PL) / (?)Wooded Carpathians (SK) / Carpathians (Ukraine) (UA)
PL: Beskidy Wschodnie, SK: Poloniny, UA: Ukrains'ki Karpaty. Note that there are many variants for the divisions and names of these ranges.

Wooded Beskids (PL: Beskidy Lesiste + (?) UA: Beskydy, Skyb Carpathians) (Outer Carpathians):

Central Carpathians:

Polonyna Ridge (UA: Polonyns'kyi chrebet) (Inner Carpathians):

Moldavian-Muntenian Carpathians

For another classification, see Romanian Carpathians.

Inner Eastern Carpathians (subprovince)

Map of Inner Eastern and Outer Eastern Carpathians (RO: Carpații Orientali) within Romania

Vihorlat-Gutin Area (SK) / Volcanic Ridge (UA) (area)

SK: Vihorlatsko-gutínska oblasť, UA: Vulkanichnyi chrebet

Bistrița Mountains (RO)

RO: Munții Bistriței

Căliman-Harghita Mountains (RO)

RO: Munții Căliman-Harghita

Giurgeu-Brașov Depression (RO)

RO: Depresiunea Giurgeu-Brașovului


Southern Carpathians (RO) (province)

Bucegi Mountains Group

RO: Grupa Munții Bucegi

Făgăraș Mountains group

RO: Grupa Munții Făgărașului

Parâng Mountains group

RO: Grupa Munții Parângului

Retezat-Godeanu Mountains group

RO: Grupa Munții Retezat-Godeanu

Western Romanian Carpathians (RO)

RO: Carpații Occidentali or Carpații Apuseni or Carpații de Apus. The term Bihor Massif is sometimes used for the Apuseni Mountains and Poiana Ruscă.

Apuseni Mountains (Munții Apuseni)

Criș Mountains (Munții Criș) :

Seș-Meseș Mountains (Munții Seș-Meseșului):

Bihor Massif (Masivul Bihor):

Mureș Mountains (Munții Mureșului):

Poiana Ruscă Mountains

RO: Munții Poiana Ruscă

(Note: sometimes considered part of the Southern Carpathians)

Banat Mountains

RO: Munții Banatului

(Note: sometimes considered part of the Southern Carpathians)

Transylvanian Plateau (RO)

RO: Depresiunea Transilvaniei, i.e. Transylvanian Depression. Some authors do not consider it to be part of the Carpathians.

Transylvanian Plateau (Podișul Transilvaniei):

Serbian Carpathians (RS)

Serbian: Karpatske planine, i.e. "Carpathian Mountains". Sometimes considered part of the Southern Carpathians (together with the Banat Mountains), sometimes not considered part of the Carpathians at all.

Outer Carpathian depressions (subprovince)

The Outer Carpathian Depressions are divided into Western, Northern etc. and are usually treated as part of the individual parts of the Carpathian Mountains, i.e. of Western Carpathians, Eastern Carpathians etc.. Since, however, it was impossible to find their exact subdivision, they are given only as a list of the final units (mountains etc.) from the west to the east and south here:


  1. Földvary, G. Z., ed. (1988). Geology of the Carpathian Region, pp. 106, 108, 109, 172, 554, etc., World Scientific Publishing, Singapore. ISBN 9971-50-344-1.
  2. The Tatransko-fatranská oblasť and the Podhôrno-magurská oblasť, sometimes together with the units Vtáčnik, Kremnické vrchy, Pohronský Inovec and parts of Považské podolie, are known as "Central Western Carpathians" in some non-geomorphological systems.
  3. Often considered part of Outer Western Carpathians in non-geomorphological systems.


External links

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