Central Uplands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Central Uplands[1][2] (German: die Mittelgebirge[3]) is one of the three major natural regions of Germany and covers most of the land area of the country. To the north lies the North German Plain or Northern Lowland; to the south, the Alps and the Alpine Foreland.[1]

Central Uplands in Baden-Württemberg: The Kaiserstuhl
Central Uplands in North Rhine-Westphalia: Siegtal in the Rhenish Massif

Formation[edit]

The German Central Uplands, like the Scandinavian and British mountain ranges and the Urals, belong to the oldest mountains of Europe, even if their present-day appearance has only developed relatively recently. In the Carboniferous, i.e. about 350 million years ago, Variscan mountain ranges were formed in central Europe by the uplifting caused by tectonic plate collision. Immediately after their formation the erosion of the mountains began under the influence of exogenous processes during the Permian period. During the Triassic period, which began about 225 million years ago, what is now central Europe was sometimes above and sometimes below sea level. As a result there are various layers of sedimentary rock in the Central Uplands: in most cases new red sandstone has been laid down as the terrestrial layer of rock and keuper and muschelkalk as marine sedimentary layers. The Jurassic period primarily saw the formation of limestone, whilst chalk was the main deposition from the Cretaceous period.

With the beginning of the Cenozoic era, some 70 million years ago, the process of erosion of the Hercynian mountain ranges changed. During the Tertiary, alpidic mountain building took place in the course of which strong forces on the stumps of the Hercynian mountains. As these rocks were already folded, further tension led to cracks and fractures, which in turn created fault blocks. These blocks were later uplifted (forming horsts such as the Harz), or downfaulted (trough faults or graben such as the Upper Rhine Valley) or thrust over one another (tilted fault blocks such as the Ore Mountains). Thus the German Central Uplands exhibit the widest variety of forms, something that is also attributable to the erosion of sediments from the Mesozoic (Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous). In some ranges the sediments have been relatively well-preserved, in others they have been carried away completely. The determining factor is the geographical location and associated intensity of exogenous processes.

Most important ranges[edit]

The following table lists the mountains and hills over 300 m high that are generally considered to be part of the Central Uplands. The coordinates give the location of the highest point in each case. Many of the uplands overlap. The ranges are listed in order of height.

Mountain or hill range Highest Elevation Height (m) Coordinates Precision
Wiehen Hills Heidbrink 320 52°17′29″N 08°38′13″E / 52.29139°N 8.63694°E / 52.29139; 8.63694 (Heidbrink) ± 30″
Elm Eilumer Horn 323 52°12′00″N 10°45′00″E / 52.20000°N 10.75000°E / 52.20000; 10.75000 (Eilumer Horn) ± 30″
Calenberg Highland Hohe Egge (Süntel) 437 52°10′30″N 09°23′00″E / 52.17500°N 9.38333°E / 52.17500; 9.38333 (Hohe Egge) ± 30″
Teutoburg Forest Barnacken 446 51°51′30″N 08°54′30″E / 51.85833°N 8.90833°E / 51.85833; 8.90833 (Barnacken) ± 30″
Siebengebirge Großer Ölberg 460 50°40′56″N 07°14′54″E / 50.68222°N 7.24833°E / 50.68222; 7.24833 (Großer Ölberg) ± 1″
Egge Hills Preußischer Velmerstot 468 51°50′00″N 08°57′30″E / 51.83333°N 8.95833°E / 51.83333; 8.95833 (Preußischer Velmerstot) ± 30″
Kyffhäuser Kulpenberg 474 51°24′42″N 11°04′39″E / 51.41167°N 11.07750°E / 51.41167; 11.07750 (Kulpenberg) ± 1″
Solling Große Blöße 528 51°47′00″N 09°26′00″E / 51.78333°N 9.43333°E / 51.78333; 9.43333 (Große Blöße) ± 30″
Kaiserstuhl Totenkopf 557 48°04′51″N 07°40′14″E / 48.08083°N 7.67056°E / 48.08083; 7.67056 (Totenkopf) ± 1″
Spessart Geiersberg 586 49°54′00″N 09°26′00″E / 49.90000°N 9.43333°E / 49.90000; 9.43333 (Geiersberg) ± 30″
Gladenbach Uplands Angelburg 609 50°47′17″N 08°25′43″E / 50.78806°N 8.42861°E / 50.78806; 8.42861 (Angelburg) ± 30″
Habichtswald Hohes Gras 615 51°18′30″N 09°21′30″E / 51.30833°N 9.35833°E / 51.30833; 9.35833 (Hohes Gras) ± 30″
Odenwald Katzenbuckel 626 49°28′30″N 09°02′30″E / 49.47500°N 9.04167°E / 49.47500; 9.04167 (Katzenbuckel) ± 30″
Knüll Eisenberg 636 50°53′14″N 09°31′02″E / 50.88722°N 9.51722°E / 50.88722; 9.51722 (Eisenberg) ± 1″
Kaufungen Forest Hirschberg 643 51°14′30″N 09°46′00″E / 51.24167°N 9.76667°E / 51.24167; 9.76667 (Hirschberg) ± 30″
Westerwald Fuchskaute 656 50°39′30″N 08°06′00″E / 50.65833°N 8.10000°E / 50.65833; 8.10000 (Fuchskaute) ± 30″
Ebbe Mountains Nordhelle 663 51°08′54″N 07°45′23″E / 51.14833°N 7.75639°E / 51.14833; 7.75639 (Nordhelle) ± 1″
Palatine Forest Kalmit 673 49°19′08″N 08°04′58″E / 49.31889°N 8.08278°E / 49.31889; 8.08278 (Kalmit) ± 1″
Kellerwald Wüstegarten 675 51°00′59″N 09°05′03″E / 51.01639°N 9.08417°E / 51.01639; 9.08417 (Wüstegarten) ± 10″
North Palatine Highland Donnersberg 687 49°37′29″N 07°55′38″E / 49.62472°N 7.92722°E / 49.62472; 7.92722 (Donnersberg) ± 10″
Franconian Jura Hesselberg 689 49°04′00″N 10°32′00″E / 49.06667°N 10.53333°E / 49.06667; 10.53333 (Hesselberg) ± 30″
Elbe Sandstone Mountains Hoher Schneeberg / Decínský Snežník 722 50°47′30″N 14°07′00″E / 50.79167°N 14.11667°E / 50.79167; 14.11667 (Hoher Schneeberg) ± 30″
Eifel Hohe Acht 746 50°23′30″N 07°00′30″E / 50.39167°N 7.00833°E / 50.39167; 7.00833 (Hohe Acht) ± 30″
Hoher Meißner Kasseler Kuppe 754 51°14′30″N 09°51′30″E / 51.24167°N 9.85833°E / 51.24167; 9.85833 (Kasseler Kuppe) ± 30″
Vogelsberg Taufstein 773 50°31′00″N 09°14′30″E / 50.51667°N 9.24167°E / 50.51667; 9.24167 (Taufstein) ± 30″
Zittau Mountains Lausche 793 50°51′00″N 14°39′00″E / 50.85000°N 14.65000°E / 50.85000; 14.65000 (Lausche) ± 30″
Franconian Forest Döbraberg 794 50°17′00″N 11°39′00″E / 50.28333°N 11.65000°E / 50.28333; 11.65000 (Döbraberg) ± 30″
Hunsrück Erbeskopf 816 49°44′00″N 07°05′30″E / 49.73333°N 7.09167°E / 49.73333; 7.09167 (Erbeskopf) ± 30″
Elster Mountains Pocatecky Vrch (see also: Hoher Brand) 818 50°19′30″N 12°26′30″E / 50.32500°N 12.44167°E / 50.32500; 12.44167 (Hoher Brand) ± 30″
Rothaar Mountains Langenberg 843 51°16′30″N 08°33′30″E / 51.27500°N 8.55833°E / 51.27500; 8.55833 (Langenberg) ± 30″
Thuringian Highland Großer Farmdenkopf 869 50°30′30″N 11°02′00″E / 50.50833°N 11.03333°E / 50.50833; 11.03333 (Großer Farmdenkopf) ± 30″
Taunus Großer Feldberg 882 50°13′55″N 08°27′26″E / 50.23194°N 8.45722°E / 50.23194; 8.45722 (Großer Feldberg) ± 1″
Rhön Wasserkuppe 950 50°29′53″N 09°56′16″E / 50.49806°N 9.93778°E / 50.49806; 9.93778 (Wasserkuppe) ± 1″
Thuringian Forest Großer Beerberg 983 50°39′29″N 10°44′38″E / 50.65806°N 10.74389°E / 50.65806; 10.74389 (Großer Beerberg) ± 5″
Swabian Jura Lemberg 1015 48°09′00″N 08°45′00″E / 48.15000°N 8.75000°E / 48.15000; 8.75000 (Lemberg) ± 30″
Upper Palatine Forest Schwarzkopf/Cerchov 1041 49°23′00″N 12°47′00″E / 49.38333°N 12.78333°E / 49.38333; 12.78333 (Cerchov) ± 30″
Fichtel Mountains Schneeberg 1053 50°03′30″N 11°51′30″E / 50.05833°N 11.85833°E / 50.05833; 11.85833 (Schneeberg) ± 30″
Harz Brocken 1141 51°48′00″N 10°37′00″E / 51.80000°N 10.61667°E / 51.80000; 10.61667 (Brocken) ± 30″
Ore Mountains Keilberg/Klinovec (see also: Fichtelberg) 1243 50°24′00″N 12°58′00″E / 50.40000°N 12.96667°E / 50.40000; 12.96667 (Keilberg) ± 30″
Bavarian Forest Großer Arber 1456 49°07′00″N 13°08′00″E / 49.11667°N 13.13333°E / 49.11667; 13.13333 (Großer Arber) ± 30″
Black Forest Feldberg 1493 47°52′25″N 08°00′14″E / 47.87361°N 8.00389°E / 47.87361; 8.00389 (Feldberg) ± 1″
Rimberg Panorama
Panorama from Rimberg, interface between Rothaargebirge (Rhenish Massif) and West Hesse Highlands

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dickinson (1964), p.18 ff.
  2. ^ Elkins, T H (1972). Germany (3rd ed.). London: Chatto & Windus, p. 13. ASIN B0011Z9KJA.
  3. ^ N.B. In German die Mittelgebirge (plural) refers to the Central Uplands; das Mittelgebirge refers to a low mountain range or upland region (Mittel = "medium" and -gebirge = "range").

Sources[edit]

  • Dickinson, Robert E (1964). Germany: A regional and economic geography (2nd ed.). London: Methuen. ASIN B000IOFSEQ.

External links[edit]