Lower Danubian Plain

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lower Danubian Plain


a plain in Rumania and northern Bulgaria between the Carpathians on the north and the Bulgarian plateau in the south. It is 560 km long, measured from the Iron Gate to the Black Sea. The plain slopes gently downward from west to east, from 150–200 m to 10–50 m.

The Lower Danubian Plain is located in a tectonic trough filled with weakly dislocated Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits overlain by Pleistocene alluvium and loesses. It is hilly and dissected by river valleys, gulleys, and ravines. There are many ancient and modern alluvial cones along the base of the Carpathians. Much of the area in the valley and delta of the Danube is occupied by marshy floodplains interspersed with lakes. The climate is temperate continental. The average January temperature ranges from —1° to —3°C; the average July temperature is 22°-23°C. Annual precipitation totals 400–600 mm. Summers are dry, and the winter snow cover is variable. Many rivers, including the Jiu, Olt, Arge§, Ialomiţa, and Siret, empty into the Danube from the left after crossing the plain; they are fed by snow and rain and have high water in the spring and low water in the summer.

Chernozems are the prevalent soil type, with alluvial soils in the river valleys and some brown forest soils on the divides (in the northwest). The forb and fescue-feathergrass steppes that formerly covered a large part of the plain are now being cultivated (fields of wheat, corn, and sugar beets; orchards and vineyards). Sparse oak forests are encountered on the divides. On the floodplains, forests of willow, alder, and aspen alternate with wet meadows and reed-sedge marshes. There are large tracts of planted forests. The capital of Rumania, the city of Bucharest, is on the Lower Danubian Plain.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.