Central Danubian Plain

Central Danubian Plain

 

a plain in the basin of the Middle Danube. Area, approximately 200,000 sq km. A large part of the plain is situated in Hungary; the plain extends into Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Austria, and—in the northeast—the Ukrainian SSR (Transcarpathian Oblast).

The Central Danubian Plain, an intermontane tectonic depression, is surrounded by the Alps, the Carpathians, the Dinaric Alps, and the mountains of eastern Serbia. It is composed of Neogenic limestones, sandstones, and clays, which were covered in the Pleistocene with loess, loesslike loams, eolian sands, and alluvial deposits. Elevations generally range from 100 to 200 m. The terrain is flat, as in the Alföld (lowlands east of the Danube), or slightly rolling, as in the Dunántúl (a plain west of the Danube); in the Transdanubian upland there are individual isolated mountains of medium elevation (to 757 m). In the northwest is the Kisalföld lowland, most of which consists of the debris cone of the ancient Danube. The plain includes the Zagreb basin in the southwest and the Drava and Sava river valleys in the south. Lake Balaton is on the plain. There are deposits of bauxite (at Gánt and Iszkaszentgyörgy in Hungary), petroleum, fuel gas, and lignite.

The climate is temperate and continental; an arid climate predominates in the east. The average January temperature is –1°to -2°C, and the average July temperature is 20° to 22°C. The annual precipitation reaches 500 to 600 mm (up to 900 mm in the mountains). Chernozems and alluvial soils predominate, with saline soils in some places in the east. Seventy to 80 percent of the plain is occupied by wheat and corn plantings, orchards, and vineyards. There are small sections of forests-steppes (predominately in the mountains and foothills). The plain is densely populated. The most important cities are Budapest (Hungary), Zagreb (Yugoslavia), Bratislava (Czechoslovakia), and Timiçoara (Rumania).

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