Landforms in Europe

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 2426
  • Published : September 8, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
Landforms of Europe

Europe, the planet's 6th largest continent, includes 47 countries and assorted dependencies, islands and territories. Europe's recognized surface area covers about 9,938,000 sq km (3,837,083 sq mi) or 2% of the Earth's surface, and about 6.8% of its land area. In exacting geographic definitions, Europe is really not a continent, but part of the peninsula of Euroasia which includes all of Europe and Asia. However, it's still widely referred to as an individual continent. The European continent, bordered by numerous bodies of water, is separated from Asia by Russia's Ural Mountains and by the Caspian and Black Seas. It is separated from Africa by the Mediterranean Sea.

What are Landforms?
Landforms are defined as the natural physical features found on the surface of the earth. Landforms are created as a result of the various forces of nature such as wind, water and ice and also by the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates. For example, due to these actions, the soil gets eroded and deposited somewhere far from the site of erosion, thus leads to the formation of different landforms. Some landforms are created in a matter of few hours; others take millions of years to appear. A group of landforms in a particular area is called its landscape.

Major Landforms of Europe

1. Alps:

Located in south-central Europe, they extend for almost 700 miles from the coastline of southern France (near Monaco) into Switzerland, northern Italy and Austria, then southeast through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina as the (Dinaric Alps).

They end in Albania on the rugged coastline of the Adriatic Sea. Known for stunning
scenery, glaciers, lakes and valleys and the best skiing conditions on the planet, they’re

the source of many rivers and tributaries including the Rhone. The highest point is Mont

Blanc at 15, 771 ft. (4,807 m).

2. Apennines:

The source of almost all rivers in Italy including the Arno, Tiber, and Volturno, the Apennines Mountains (Ital. Appennino) 830 miles (1,350 km) in length, form the backbone of the country, and run the entire length of the Italian Peninsula, ending on the island of Sicily. The highest point is Mt. Corno at 9,560 ft. (2,914 m).

3. Atlantic Highlands
Formed million of years ago during the Caledonian mountain-building periods as

western lands were (forced) or pushed against the Scandinavian Shield. Significant

mountain ranges here include the Kjolen in Norway and Sweden, and the Pennines that

stretch through the central United Kingdom.

4. Balkan Mountains
These mountains extend from Yugoslavia across Bulgaria. Additional ranges run

through Albania, Greece and Macedonia. Its most famous mountain is Mt. Olympus, the

highest and most awe-inspiring peak in all of Greece. In ancient times it was the mythical

homeof Zeus, and was declared the first national park in Greece in 1939. It stands at 9,568 ft. (2,918 m).

5. Carpathian Mountains

This mountain system located in Eastern Europe is the source of the Dniester, Tisza

and Vistula River. They form the natural border between Slovakia and southern Poland,

and then extend southward through Ukraine and into Romania. There are major

subdivisions, and the highest point is Mt. Gerlachovkain in northern Slovakia, standing at

8,711 ft. (2,655 m).

6. Caucasus Mountains

Stretching from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, these volcanic mountains have many

peaks above 15,000 ft. (4,572 m). The highest point (and the highest point in Europe) is

located here; Mt. Elbrus at 18,506 ft. (5,642 m).

7. Great Hungarian Plain

Located in southeastern Europe, and surrounded by mountains, the land features

several small forests and large patches of grassland. It averages only 100 meters above

sea level and often suffers from dry conditions, thus relying on winter snow run-off from...
tracking img