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Alfaro is a town and municipality in La Rioja, northern Spain. Its population in January 2009 was 9,883 inhabitants, its area is 194.23 km². It is known for the annual return and nesting of the'Storks of Alfaro.' During ancient Roman times, Alfaro was a municipium known as Graccuris. Collegiate of San Miguel Arcángel, Alfaro Church of Nuestra Señora del Burgo Plaza de Toros de Alfaro Festival dates in Alfaro: Storks Day - during the first weekend in February San Isidro—Spring Festival - May 15 San Roque—Summer Festival - August 14 Holy Mary Burgo—September Festival - September 9 official Alfaro city website All about the hispanic surname Alfaro
La Rioja is an autonomous community and a province in Spain, located in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. Its capital is Logroño. Other cities and towns in the province include Calahorra, Alfaro, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Nájera, it has an estimated population of 315,675 inhabitants, making it the least populated region of Spain. It covers part of the Iberian Range in the south; the community is a single province, so there is no County Council, it is organized into 174 municipalities. It borders the Basque Country to the north, Navarre to the northeast, Aragón to the southeast, Castilla y León to the west and south; the area was once occupied by pre-Roman Berones and Basques. After partial recapture from the Muslims in the early tenth century, the region became part of the Kingdom of Pamplona being incorporated into Castile after a century and a half of disputes. From the eighteenth century the Rioja region remained divided between the provinces of Burgos and Soria, until in 1833 the province of Logroño was created, changing the name of the province to La Rioja in 1980 as a prelude to its constitution under a single provincial autonomous community in 1982.
The name "Rioja" is first attested in 1099. The region is well known for its wines under the brand Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja. In Roman times the territory of La Rioja was inhabited by the tribes of the Berones and the Vascones, it was part of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. In medieval times La Rioja was a disputed territory; the Visigoths created the Duchy of Cantabria that included most of La Rioja, as a border march against the Vascones. After the Muslim invasion of AD 711, La Rioja fell into the Muslim domains of Al Andalus. Most of the territory was reconquered in 923 by Sancho I of Pamplona, acting for the Kingdom of Pamplona together with the Kingdom of León and the Counts of Castile, feudal lords of the Leonese King; the lower region around Arnedo came under control of his allies the Banu Qasi of Tudela. The territory to the east of the Leza River remained under Muslim control. There was a dispute between Count Fernán González of Castile and the kings of Pamplona-Navarra, involving great battles.
It was decided in favour of the Navarrese after the imprisonment of the Count's family in Cirueña, in 960. La Rioja formed the independent Kingdom of Viguera from 970 to about 1005, at which point it became a part of the Kingdom of Pamplona. Sancho Garcés moved the capital of the Kingdom of Pamplona to Nájera, creating the so-called kingdom of Nájera-Pamplona which was, due to its large size, the first Spanish Empire. After the independence of Castile in 1035, this new kingdom fiercely fought against Pamplona for the possession of Bureba, La Rioja and other territories. In 1076, after the murder of Sancho IV, Navarre was divided among Aragon. Castile obtained La Rioja, together with other Navarrese lands; the name "La Rioja" first appears in written records in the Miranda de Ebro charter of 1099. The territory was centred on the fortified site of Logroño: the 12th-century church Iglesia de Santa Maria de Palacio recalls its origin as a chapel of the administrative palace. Logroño was a borderland disputed between the kings of Navarre and the kings of Castile from the 10th century.
The region was awarded to Castile in a judgement by Henry II of England and annexed in 1177. Its importance lay in part in the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, the Camino de Santiago, which crossed the River Ebro on the stone bridge, the Puente de Piedra. Up to the 19th century the territory remained divided between the provinces of Soria; the region was taken by Napoleonic forces in the Peninsular War and remained solidly in French hands until 1814. In the 1810 project of Llorente it was to be a part of the prefecture of Arlanzón with its capital in Burgos; the Constitutional Cortes declared La Rioja an independent province at the time of the Liberal Constitution of 1812, during the Liberal Triennium in January 1822 the province of Logroño was created by royal decree as part of the administrative reform of Riego, taking in the whole of the historical territory of La Rioja. However, Ferdinand VII soon annulled these decisions and restored most of the previous territorial divisions.
In the 1833 reorganization, a province of Logroño was again formed within the region of Castilla la Vieja. The province increased its territory temporarily in 1841. In 1980 the province changed its name to La Rioja, following the adoption of the Estatuto de San Millán in 1982, during the reorganization following the Spanish transition to democracy, it was constituted as a uni-provincial autonomous community, it has the smallest population. Nearly half of its citizens live in the capital. La Rioja is bordered by the Basque Country, Aragón, Castile and León; the river Ebro flows through this region. The Ebro runs through the north of the community; the entire right bank belongs to La Rioja. There are only three municipalities, Briñas, San Vicente de la Sonsierra and Ábalos on the left bank(kn
The Ebro is a river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the second longest river in the Iberian peninsula after the Tagus and the second biggest by discharge volume and by drainage area after the Douro; the Ebro flows through the following cities: Reinosa in Cantabria. The source of the river Ebro is from the Latin words Fontes Iberis, source of the Ebro. Close by is a large artificial lake, Embalse del Ebro, created by the damming of the river; the upper Ebro rushes through rocky gorges in Burgos Province. Flowing eastwards it begins forming a wider river valley of limestone rocks when it reaches Navarre and La Rioja thanks to many tributaries flowing down from the Iberian System on one side, the Navarre mountains and the western Pyrenees, on the other. There, the climate becomes progressively more continental, with more extreme temperatures and drier characteristics, therefore experiencing hot and dry summers which resemble summers seen in arid and semiarid climates. Karst geological processes shaped the landscape of layers of soluble carbonate rock of extensive limestone bedrock formed in an ancient seabed.
Aragonite, a mineral named for Aragon, attests to the fact that carbonates are abundant in the central Ebro Valley. The valley expands and the Ebro's flow becomes slower as its water volume increases, flowing across Aragon. There, larger tributaries flowing from the central Pyrenees and the Iberian System discharge large amounts of water in spring during the thawing season of the mountain snow; as it flows through Zaragoza the Ebro, is a sizeable river. There, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar stands next to the Ebro; the soils in most of the valley are poor soils: calcareous, pebbly and sometimes salted with saltwater endorheic lagoons. The semi-arid interior of the Ebro Valley has either drought summers and a semi-desert climate with rainfall between 400 and 600 mm, with a maximum in the fall and spring, it is covered with chaparral vegetation. Summers are hot and winters are cold; the dry summer season has temperatures of more than 35 °C reaching over 40 °C. In winter, the temperatures drop below 0 °C.
In some areas the vegetation depends on moisture produced by condensation fog. It is a continental Mediterranean climate with extreme temperatures. There are many ground frosts on clear nights, sporadic snowfalls; the biomes are diverse in these Mediterranean climate zones: Mediterranean forests and scrub. Hinterlands are distinctive on account of extensive sclerophyll shrublands known as maquis, or garrigues; the dominant species are Quercus ilex. These trees form monospecific communities or communities integrated with Pinus, Mediterranean buckthorns, Chamaerops humilis, Pistacia, Thymus, so on; the hinterland climate becomes progressively more continental and drier, therefore there is an end from extreme temperatures accompanied by slow-growing dwarf juniper species to unvegetated desert steppes as in "llanos de Belchite" or "Calanda desert". The mountain vegetation is coniferous forests that are drought adapted, trees in the genus Quercus with different drought tolerance in the wetter highlands.
Halophiles extremophile characteristic communities are frequent in endorheic areas such as lagoons and creeks, which are Tamarix covered and include endemic species of bryophytes, plumbaginacea, Carex, asteraceaes, etc. Their presence is related to the marine origin of the Ebro valley and the extensive marine deposits in the same area. After reaching Catalonia, the Ebro Valley narrows, the river becomes constrained by mountain ranges, making wide bends. Massive dams have been built in this area, such as the dams at Riba-roja and Flix. In the final section of its course the river bends flows through spectacular gorges; the massive calcareous cliffs of the Serra de Cardó range constrain the river during this last stretch, separating the Ebro Valley from the Mediterranean coastal area. After passing the gorges, the Ebro bends again eastwards near Tortosa before discharging in a delta on the Mediterranean Sea close to Amposta in the province of Tarragona; the Ebro Delta, in the Province of Tarragona, Catalonia, is at 340 km2 one of the largest wetland areas in the western Mediterranean region.
The delta has expanded on soils washed downriver—the historical rate of growth of the delta is demonstrated by the town of Amposta. A seaport in the 4th century, it is now well inland from the current rivermouth; the rounded form of the delta attests to the balance between sediment deposition by the Ebro and removal of this material by wave erosion. The modern delta is in intensive agricultural use for rice and vegetables; the Ebro delta has numerous beaches and salt pans that provide habitat for over 300 species of birds. In 1983 Spain designated a large part of the delta as the Ebro Delta Natural Park to protect its natural resources. A network of canals and irrigation ditches constructed by both agricultural and conservation groups are helping to maintain the ecologic and economic resources of the Ebro
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater, leading the water out into an ocean. A confluence, where two or more bodies of water meet together refers to the joining of tributaries; the opposite to a tributary is a distributary, a river or stream that branches off from and flows away from the main stream. Distributaries are most found in river deltas. "Right tributary" and "left tributary" are terms stating the orientation of the tributary relative to the flow of the main stem river. These terms are defined from the perspective of looking downstream. In the United States, where tributaries sometimes have the same name as the river into which they feed, they are called forks; these are designated by compass direction. For example, the American River receives flow from its North and South forks.
The Chicago River's North Branch has the East and Middle Fork. Forks are sometimes left. Here, the "handedness" is from the point of view of an observer facing upstream. For instance, Steer Creek has a left tributary, called Right Fork Steer Creek. Tributaries are sometimes listed starting with those nearest to the source of the river and ending with those nearest to the mouth of the river; the Strahler Stream Order examines the arrangement of tributaries in a hierarchy of first, second and higher orders, with the first-order tributary being the least in size. For example, a second-order tributary would be the result of two or more first-order tributaries combining to form the second-order tributary. Another method is to list tributaries from mouth to source, in the form of a tree structure, stored as a tree data structure. A gallery of major river basins with tributaries Estuary