Human Geographic Analysis of France

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I. Geographic Information

1. Reference Map of France:

Map of France

2. Absolute Location of France: 46° 00 N, 2° 00 E

3. Regions in Which France Is Located: France is part of Western Europe, which is part of Europe. France is also part of the northern hemisphere. It is also part of both the western and eastern hemispheres.

4. Relative Location of France: France is on the western edge of Europe. It is shaped like a hexagon, a shape having six sides. France is bordered on its western side by the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered on its northwest side by the English Channel and by the Mediterranean Sea on its southeast side. Mountains make up the eastern and the southern sides of France. The Pyrenees Mountains separate France on the south from Spain, while the Alps and the Jura Mountains separate France on the east from Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. France is bordered on its northeast side by Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. Germany is the only country that borders France on two of its sides.

5. Size of France: The total area of France is: 547,030 square kilometers (including the island of Corsica). Its land area is 544,756 square kilometers, and its water area is 2,274 square kilometers).

6. Comparative Analysis of the Size of France: In landmass, France is the largest country in Western Europe and the largest country in the European Union. France is the 48th largest country in the world, slightly smaller than Kenya, and slightly larger than Yemen. With 547,030 square kilometers, France is 3.2% of the size of Russia, largest country in the world (17,075,200 square kilometers). France is much smaller than the United States; it is about 80% of the size of Texas.

7. Geographic Features of France:

a. Loire Valley: The longest river in France is the Loire River. This large river has cut basins in the rolling hills and plains of the region and many vineyards are in this region. It covers an area of 800 square kilometers in central France, and it has been a popular region throughout France's history.

Château overlooking the Loire Valley

b. Massif Central: This is the south central area of France. It is the largest of France's geographic regions, covering about one-sixth of the country. Millions of years ago, this area was a chain of active volcanoes, but today all volcanic action is extinct. The area consists of highlands and deep valleys carved into the volcanic rock by long ago glaciers. Puy de Dome (1,465 meters) is the highest of the extinct volcanoes in this region. The slopes of Puy de Dome are covered with fertile soil, lakes, and small farming towns.

A village on the slope of Puy de Dome

c. French Alps Mountain Range: The major mountain range of Europe is the Alps. The portion of the Alps located in France is called the French Alps. Many of the mountains in the French Alps are covered with snow throughout the year, and some are higher than the tree level, meaning that no trees grow near their summits. Water from many mountain streams in this area has been harnessed to generate hydroelectric power. This area also contains many ski resorts. The highest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc, (4,807 meters) is in the French Alps.

Mount Blanc

d. French Riviera: This is the coastal area in the southeastern area of France along the Mediterranean Sea. It has a Mediterranean climate - mild, short winters and warm, long summers. The French Riviera has about 800 kilometers of coastal beaches, and it is an area very popular with tourists from around the world.

The French Riviera

e. Aquitaine Basin: This area is in southwestern France. The Aquitaine Basin is a large plain into which rivers have cut wide valleys. A blanket of sediments that were deposited by glaciers millions of years ago make the soil very fertile today....
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