North European Plain

North European Plain coloured in green.
Topography of Europe.

The North European Plain (German: Norddeutsches Tiefland or German: Norddeutsche Tiefebene), or Middle European Plain (Polish: Nizina Środkowoeuropejska) is a geomorphological region in Europe, mostly in Poland, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands (Low Countries), and a small part of northern France.

It consists of the low plains between the Hercynian Europe (Central European Highlands) to the south and coastlines of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the north. These two seas are separated by the Jutland Peninsula (Denmark). The North European Plain is connected to East European Plain, together forming the European Plain.


The Northern European Plain's main use is commercial farming, with little natural vegetation remaining


Elevations vary between 0 and 200 m (about 0 to 650 ft). While mostly used as farmland, the region also contains bogs, heath and lakes. On the North Sea coast one finds the Wadden Sea, a large tidal area.

On the Baltic Sea coast one finds the Szczecin Lagoon, the Vistula Lagoon and the Curonian Lagoon, a number of large freshwater lagoons.


The North European Plain covers the territories of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Poland; it touches the Czech Republic and southwestern part of Sweden as well. Parts of eastern England can also be considered part of the same plain; as they share its low-lying character and were connected by land to the continent during the last ice age. The Northern European Plains are located also under the Baltic Sea.


Major river-drainage basins include, from west to east: the Rhine, Ems, Weser, Elbe, Oder and Vistula.

The bases of these rivers are heavy with thin soil, making it hard for the farming industry to thrive in the located rivers.


Low Countries

Historically, especially in the Middle Ages and Early modern period, the western section has been known as the Low Countries. Stone Age

Czech Republic

A tiny southernmost part of the North European Plain called the Silesian Lowlands (formerly Oder Plain) runs in Czech territory in four separated extremities.

North German Plain

Main article: North German Plain
Morning mist in East Frisia

The modern German part of the Northern European Lowlands is also known as the North German Plain. Much of the North German Plain lies less than 100 metres above sea level. On the North Sea coast, the plain is very flat and round composed mostly of marshes and mudflats. The offshore East Frisian Islands and North Frisian Islands are considered an extension of the North German Plain that was separated from the mainland after floods during the Middle Ages.

The entire federal-states of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg and Berlin, as well as large parts of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia are located in this European geographic region.

Polish Plains

The part in modern-day Poland is called the "Polish Plain" (Polish: Niż Polski or Nizina Polska) and stretches from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Sudetes and Carpathians in the south.

English flatlands

The extension of the plain into England consists mainly of the flatlands of East Anglia, the Fens and Lincolnshire, where the landscape is in parts strikingly similar to that of the Netherlands.

External links

Coordinates: 54°00′N 14°00′E / 54.000°N 14.000°E / 54.000; 14.000

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/12/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.