Physical features of Europe:

Objective            :     To explain the physical features of Europe and compare them with Nepal.


Europe is the second smallest continent in the world. Europe has seas and oceans on three sides so it is called the Peninsula. The Danube is the largest and Volga is the longest river of Europe. Most rivers of Europe are navigable.

Only a few European nations are land-locked. It is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean in the north, the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the Mediterranean Sea in the south and Ural Mountains in the east.

The surface area of this continent is 10,180,000 square kilometers (3,930,000 square miles), which is about 2% of the Earth’s surface and about 6.8% of the total landmass on Earth.

The biggest country in Europe in area as well as by population is Russia. The Vatican City, on the other hand, is the smallest country in this continent. Although it is the second smallest continent by surface, it is the third most populous continent after Asia and Africa.

Europe has varieties of land structures like mountains, valleys, plains, plateaus etc. it is broadly divided in to three physical regions.

1.The North-Western Highlands:

This region covers most part of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It comprises the old fold rocks. The land structure has undulating surface. Although the land structure is not plain, it has now become low due to denudation. The cool temperate climate helps the people remain active throughout.

2. The Great European Plains:

The Great European Plains lie between the northern highlands and southern mountains. Although it is not completely plain, the land is flat. The surface is broken up in most parts. The soil is very fertile drained by many rivers of Europe. The climate is of extreme nature i.e. hot summers and cold winters. Varieties of crops are grown well. The soil is of alluvial type deposited by the rivers and glaciers. It extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains. These plains are broad in the east and narrow in the west.

3.The Southern Mountains and Plateaus:

This region covers most part of southern Europe. The southern Europe has mountains, plateaus and some plains enclosed by the mountain ranges. The mountains and plateaus consist of young fold mountains unlike the northern highlands. The Alps and the Caucasus are major mountain ranges. Mt. Elbrus (5642 meters) in Georgia is the highest mountain of Europe. The climate is cold but some plateaus and plains have Mediterranean type of climate which is probably the best type of climate for human settlement, fruit and flower production.


Countries and Capital Cities of Europe

Country Capital
Albania Tirane
Andorra Andorra-la-vella
Armenia Jerevan
Austria Vienna
Azerbaijan Baku
Belarus Minsk
Belgium Brussels
Bosnia & Herzegovina Sarajevo
Bulgaria Sofia
Croatia Zagreb
Cyprus Nicosia
Czech Republic Prague
Denmark Copenhagen
Estonia Tallinn
Finland Helsinki
France Paris
French Guiana Cayenne
Georgia Tbilisi
Germany Berlin
Greece Athens
Hungary Budapest
Iceland Reykjavik
Italy Rome
Latvia Riga
Liechtenstein Vaduz
Lithuania Vilnius
Country Capital
Luxemburg Luxemburg
Macedonia Skopje
Malta Valletta
Martinique Fort-de-France
Moldova Kishinev
Monaco Monaco
Netherlands Amsterdam, The Hague (political Capital)
Norway Oslo
Northern Ireland Belfast
Poland Warsaw
Portugal Lisbon
Romania Bucharest
Russia Moscow
San Marino San Marino
Scotland Edinburgh
Slovakia Bratislava
Slovenia Ljubljana
Spain Madrid
Sweden Stockholm
Switzerland Berne
Tajikistan Dushanbe
Ukraine Kiev
United Kingdom London
Uzbekistan Toshkent/Tashkent
Vatican City Vatican City
Yugoslavia Belgrade

Europe (Climate and Natural Vegetation)
Part Climate Natural Vegetation Animals
Northern Frigid Zone (extremely cold climate) Example Scandinavia covered with snow almost entire year Poor vegetation but mosses and lichen Polar bears and reindeer
Southern Mediterranean climate Warm and receives more rainfall in winter AS the summer is hot and dry , the trees are with thick bark,small and oily leaves and long roots;common trees are olive ,cork, lavender and laurel
Western Temperate Climate  Norway, Sweden and Denmark ; Warm in the summer and mild in the winter and receives rainfall all year due to influence of seas and oceans Deciduous and coniferous vegetation Oak, ash, elm and beach are common deciduous trees
North East Extreme Climate Very hot in summer and very cold in the winter Temperate Grassland (steppes) is found . Steppes are treeless grassland; rainfall is not sufficient for the growth of trees.


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