Geography in Switzerland
Switzerland is a mountainous and landlocked country located in western Europe. It is surrounded by Austria and Liechtenstein to the east, France to the west, Italy to the south and Germany to the north. Switzerland has a north-south length of 220 kilometres and an east-west length of 350 kilometres.
The Alps in the south and southeast. Were formed by the thrust of the African plate, which also caused the formation of the Jura in the north-east and the plateau between the two massifs. In terms of area the Alps constitute about 60% of the country, the plateau 30% and the Jura 10%. The terrain is very rugged. The Alps have an average altitude of 1,700 meters and cover nearly two thirds of the total surface area. Within the Alps there are 48 mountains that are 4,000 meters or higher.
The Swiss plateau runs along the east-west axis of the country from Lake Geneva on the French Border across central Switzerland to Lake Constance on the German and Austrian Borders. The plateau has an average altitude of 580 meters. The entire plateau is covered with rolling hills, small lakes and rivers. Most of Switzerland’s large lakes are in the plateau. Both Lake Geneva (581.3 square kilometres) and Lake Constance (541.1 square kilometres) are in the plateau but are shared with other countries. The largest lake totally in Switzerland, Lake Neuchâtel (218.3 square kilometres), is located in the Swiss Plateau.
The Swiss Plateau is crossed by three great river valleys (Rhone, Rhine, and Aar) with the smaller Thur River valley. While the head waters of these four rivers all originate in the Alps,
The Jura is a limestone range running from Lake Geneva to the Rhine River. This area makes up about 12% of Switzerland’s land area. Located about 700 meters above sea level, this region is characterized by a limestone highland with deep river valleys. The highest peak in the Jura range is Le Crêt de la Neige at 1,720 meters.
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