The Surface of Germany

By | August 26, 2022

Germany can be divided into four large geographical areas: the North German Lowland, the broad belt of the Central German Highlands, the Bavarian Plateau, and a narrow fringe of Alpine foothills along the Austrian border. Old and younger tectonic movements and river erosion modeled a diverse landscape relief in the colorful rocks.

The coasts of the two seas are very different. The Baltic coast, with the exception of the island of Rügen, is not very high, but has steep shores built by chalk deposits. Long sandy beaches and small coastal lakes separated by cliffs are also characteristic. The mostly flat coast of the North Sea is divided by the deep funnel-shaped mouths of the Emze, Vezera and Elbe rivers and protected by dykes from sea intrusion. Along the northern coast is a strip of wats, which are alternately inundated and exposed at high tide, with new islets of marshes. Behind it stretches the chain of the East Frisian Islands. Further in the sea against the mouth of the Elbe lies the small rocky island of Heligoland. West Coast at the base of the Jutland Peninsula it is higher and even more rugged. It is bordered by the North Frisian Islands with the well-known island of Sylt.

The North German Plain is part of the large Central European Plain, which stretches from France to Belarus. The whole was reshaped by the mainland glacier, which left distinct traces, moraine ridges with extensive depressions filled with lakes, especially in the northeast in Mecklenburg. Further south, a discontinuous sandbank stretches from the Lüneburg Heath southwest of Hamburg southeast to Poland. The western part of the lowland is flatter and alternates between sandy heaths and marshy peatlands. Here a lowland called the Lower Rhine Basin penetrates along the Rhine deep south into the Central German Highlands. It is separated from the Westphalian Basin by the Teutoburg Forest. In the east, beyond the border Odra and Nisa, the plain passes into Poland. The southern edges of the lowland are formed by a gently undulating fertile loess area known as the Börde.

According to cellphoneexplorer, Central German Highlands is a complex system of numerous highlands and low mountain ranges of different age and rock composition. In the west, on both sides of the Rhine, there is a series of low mountain ranges, which have a predominant direction from southwest to northeast and are collectively referred to as the Rhine Slate Highlands. On the left side of the Rhine, this includes the volcanic Eifel highlands with the well-known maars – lakes that were created after the explosion of volcanic gases. Behind the deeply sunken valley of the Moselle river stretches the Hunsrück mountain range, which exceeds 800 m. On the right bank of the Rhine, the Sauerland hillock rises from the Ruhr coal basin with the higher Rothaargebirge (843 m) in the southeast. The Westerwald gradually descends to the Rhine valley. To the south of ancient Koblenz at the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle, the beautiful and deep Rhine Valley Hunsrück separates from the Taunus Mountains (880 m), which falls into the Upper Rhine basin by a sharp fault slope with numerous mineral springs at the foot. It lies between the Rhine schist highlands and the old crystalline massifs in the eastThe Hessian Highlands and south of it the Hessian Basin. To the east of it rises the extensive stratovolcano Vogelsberg (774 m) and the Rhön basalt plateau (950 m). To the northeast of the highlands rises the old Harz mountain range (Brocken 1142 m). To the southeast of it lies the low-lying Lipská basin, to the south the hilly Thuringian basin and beyond it the Thuringian Forest (982 m). They are joined to the southeast by other old crystalline mountain ranges of the Francké les, the Smrčin/Fichtelgebirge and the Ore Mountains /Erzgebirge (1214 m) forming the border between Saxony and the Czech Republic. To the east, the romantic area of ​​the Elbsandsteingebirge called Czechoslovak Switzerland with its rock towns and table mountains joins. The Lusatian Lignite Basinin the east, it rises to the Lusatian uplands, limited on the border with the Czech Republic by the steep slope of the Lusatian Mountains.

The eastern border with the Czech Republic consists of (Oberpfälzer Wald) the Bohemian Forest, which is followed by (Böhmerwald) Šumava with the highest peak Großer Arber (Velký Javor 1456 m). Parallel to it stretches the lower Bayerischer Wald (Bavarian Forest), bordering the Danube valley. A large part of southern Germany is filled with the Central Mountain range. It includes the Palatinate Forest (Pfälzer Wald) with the Haardt massif on the left bank of the Rhine and the Spessart and Odenwald highlands on the opposite side, cut by the winding rivers Main and Neckar. To the south of them, the forested crystalline Schwarzwald/Black Forest (Feldberg 1493 m) rises steeply above the Upper Rhine Plain. To the southeast, the flatter Swabian-Francian gradation passes into the long arc of the Fränkische and Schwäbische Alb (Franconian and Swabian Jura). The entire territory is built by powerful sedimentary assemblages, cut by numerous gorges of the tributaries of the Danube and the Main, and limestone ridges, modeled into typical asvmetric shapes – kuest.

To the south of the Danube lies the flat southern German Alpine foothills (Alpenvorland) and the Swabian-Bavarian plateau covered with powerful deposits of Quaternary glaciers and rivers from the Alpine region. From the flat landscape, the wall of the Northern Limestone Alps rises steeply in the south with Germany’s highest mountain Zugspitze 2963 m) and also the highest face of the Alps, the 1800 m high East Face of Watzmann 2713 m) in Germany’s most beautiful national park Berchtesgaden. In the southwest, Germany’s border with Switzerland and France is formed by the river Rhine flowing from Lake Constance (Bodensee).

The Surface of Germany