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European Landscapes

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Sergio Artal

on 1 January 2015

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Transcript of European Landscapes


Europe is a continent with contrasting landscapes. It is located in the
Northern Hemisphere
, bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by Asia, on the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.

Looking at the map, the green areas represent low plains most of Europe is comprised of. There are also mountains, represented by yellow, brown and purple areas.

: They extend through the centre and the east of Europe. At the centre we find the
Great European Plain
. It is bordered on the north by the Baltic and North Seas and on the south by the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains. On this plain there are also low mountains, called massifs, like the Central Massif. In the east, we find the
Eastern European Plain
. It is bordered on the north by the White Sea and the Barents Sea and on the east by the Ural Mountains.

: The most important mountain ranges are in the south - the
, the
, the
, the
and the
Mountains, where we find the highest peak in Europe (Mount Elbrus, 5,642 m). Other important mountain ranges are the
Scandinavian Mountains
in the north and the
Ural Mountains
in the east, which separate Europe from Asia.


Europe has many kilometres of coastline. It is very irregular and jagged. We can find:

- they are pieces of land almost completely surrounded by water. The Kola, the Scandinavian and the Jutland Peninsulas are in the north. The Iberian, Italian, Balkan and Crimean Peninsulas are in the south.

or bays - they are portions of the ocean partially surrounded by land. The Gulf of Bothnia is in the north. The Gulfs of Lion and Genoa, and the Bay of Biscay are in the south.

- they are points of land extending into the ocean. The North Cape is in the north. Cape Finisterre, Cape Saint Vincent and Cape Matapan are in the south.

·Fjords and inlets
- they are valleys where the seawater enters. Fjords are only found in the Scandinavian Peninsula. Inlets are found in many places, such as the north coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

- they are pieces of land completely surrounded by the sea. Europe has many, for example Iceland, the British Isles, Ireland, the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Cyprus, Malta and Crete.

Europe has two main types of climates: temperate and cold. Most of Europe has temperate climates. Zones with high altitude or latitude have cold climates.

temperate climates
can be Oceanic, Mediterranean or Continental:
·Oceanic climate
is found in Central Europe and near the Atlantic Ocean. Temperatures are cold in winter and mild in summer. Precipitation is abundant.

·Mediterranean climate
is found in the Mediterranean coast and the south of Europe. Temperatures are mild in winter and high in summer. Precipitation is scarce.

·Continental climate
is found in Eastern Europe. Temperatures are very low in winter and high in summer. Precipitation is higher in summer.

cold climates
can be Polar or Alpine:
·Polar climate
is found in the north of the Scandinavian Peninsula and Russia. It is the coldest climate on Earth. Precipitation is scarce.

·Alpine (or mountain) climate
is found at the top of the highest mountains. Temperatures are very low in winter and cool in summer. Precipitation is abundant.

Europe is a small continent, but vegetation is very varied depending on the climate.

·Oceanic climate
- there are meadows and deciduous forests with trees such as oak and beech, as well as herbaceous plants and bushes.

·Mediterranean climate
- there are Mediterranean forests with evergreen trees such as olive and cork, as well as bushes.

·Continental climate
- there are steppes (plains where only grasses grow) and taiga (forests of evergreen trees such as firs and pines).

·Polar and alpine climates
- there is very little vegetation. Only mosses, lichens and small shrubs grow there. This type of vegetation is called tundra.

Europe has many rivers. Most are long and their flow is average, so they are navigable and are used as travel routes. They are classified by watersheds or river basins (according to the ocean or sea where they flow into):

·Arctic watershed
- rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean carry a lot of water. They freeze in the winter. The largest are the Pechora and Northern Dvina.

·Atlantic watershed
- rivers that flow into the Atlantic Ocean have the greatest volume of water, as they flow across zones where it rains a lot. The most important are the Western Dvina, the Vistula, the Oder, the Elbe and the Rhine.

·Mediterranean watershed
- rivers that flow into the Mediterranean Sea have a low, irregular flow because of droughts in the summer. The most important are the Ebro, the Rhone and the Po.

·Black Sea watershed
- these rivers are very long and carry a lot of a water. Examples are the Danube and the Dniester.

·Caspian Sea watershed
- these rivers are also very long and carry a lot of water. The longest river in Europe, the Volga, flows into the Caspian Sea.

A lake is a body of water surrounded by land. European lakes are classified by their location:

·Northern lakes
are generally larger and deeper than southern lakes. There are a lot in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. For example, Lake Ladoga.

·Southern lakes
are smaller and not very deep, such as Lake Albufera in Spain.

·Alpine lakes
are found in the mountains such as the Alps in Switzerland and Italy. For example, Lake Maggiore.
Deciduous forest
Mediterranean forest
Lake Maggiore, an alpine lake located south of the Alps, between Switzerland and Italy.
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