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Rivers and lakes

The hydrographic network in Abruzzo (the overall complex of waterways, even those underground, and lakes) is greatly influenced by the morphology of the area, with the Apennine chain of mountains to the west running parallel to the coast, and the hilly area to the east that gently slopes down to the Adriatic Sea.
The most important rivers, the Aterno-Pescara, Sangro and Tronto, have their sources in the region’s western side and follow a route which goes first lengthwise (north-south), parallel to the mountains, to then create, by means of deep gorges, a characteristic sharp turn and to then continue along a transversal axis (east-west) flowing finally into the sea, after having crossed over the hills.
Other streams and rivers, such as the Salinello, the Tordino, the Vomano, the Fino-Tavo, the Saline and the Foro, whose sources are in the chalky rocks of the most eastern Apennine slopes, are often torrential with an irregular course, and sometimes run dry, even though their natural springs are perennial; they are of medium length, they run more or less parallel to each other and are perpendicular to the coast.
The rivers, due to the nature of the land itself, are sometimes above, sometimes below, the ground: many rivers are engulfed in the meanders of the chalky soil to then emerge again a few kilometres further down. All the waterways in Abruzzo flow into the Adriatic Sea, with the exception of the Liri river which becomes a tributary of rivers which finish up in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The ancient lakes of the Quaternary era have now disappeared, as for example that of Fùcino, which was the third largest Italian lake, 155 km2 long, drained for agricultural purposes between 1854 and 1869; the Abruzzo lakes nowadays have only one natural reservoir of an important size, the Scanno lake, and a series of small lakes, usually of karst or glacial origins. Most lakes are made up out of artificial barriers, like the Campotosto Lake, the largest of them, behind the Laga Mountains, and those of Barrea and of Bomba, both on the Sangro River.




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