Upper Rhine Lowland

Upper Rhine Lowland

 

a lowland in the middle reaches of the Rhine, in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and partly in France between the Jura Mountains in the south and the Rhenish Slate Mountains in the north.

The Upper Rhine Lowland is bounded in the east by the Black Forest and the Odenwald Mountains and in the west by the Vosges and Hardt mountains. Its length is about 300 km and its average width 40 km. The Upper Rhine Lowland is a complex graben filled with Cenozoic sediments and in some places, outcrops of volcanic rock (Mt. Kaiserstuhl). There are deposits of calcium salt and petroleum. The lowland is divided into the terraced valley of the Rhine (maximum width, 12 km) and a hilly plain that merges with the foothills of the mountains. The climate is temperate, and precipitation is 500-700 mm a year.

Intensive agriculture is carried on in the Rhine Valley. Wheat and sugar beets are raised, and there are many vineyards and orchards. The foothills are covered with pine, oak, and chestnut trees. Railroads, highways, and waterways pass through the Upper Rhine Lowland through the northern regions of the FRG and the Netherlands to the southern regions of the FRG and France, Switzerland, and Italy. The major cities in the lowland are Colmar and Strasbourg (France), and Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, and Frankfurt (FRG).

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