Peninsula of peninsulas Europe is composed of the westward-projecting peninsulas of Eurasia and occupying nearly one-fifteenth of the world's total land area.
Europe’s waterways It is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the south by the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.
Europe’s rivers Europe is a well-watered continent with many rivers. Most of the continent's drainage finds its way to the Atlantic Ocean via a number of master river systems, whose watersheds interlock in a most complex manner.
Scandanavia A a region in Northern Europe named after the Scandinavian Peninsula. "Scandinavia" and "Nordic region" are often used interchangeably. The most common definition includes continental Denmark, mainland Norway and Sweden.
Scandanavian Peninsula In the 17th Century, the Swedish empire consisted of most of Scandanavia. The Swedish Empire in 1658 (orange) overlaid by present day Sweden (dark orange).
Norway The northernmost country in Europe with a toothy western coastline, a jagged expanse of islands and fjords. It’s capital, Oslo occupies an arc of land at the northernmost end of the Oslofjord . Hardangerfjord
Fjord - A long, narrow arm of the sea, usually formed by entrance of the sea into a deep glacial trough.
Sweden Its nine million people are spread out over an area roughly the same as the State of California. M ost of the inland consists of forests and mountainous wilderness. Capital: Stockholm
With a population of 5.2 Million, Finland is an advanced industrial economy. Metal, engineering and electronics industries account for 50 % of export revenues, forest products industry for 30 %. Finland is one of the leading countries in Internet use. Finland
Denmark The Kingdom of Denmark is the smallest, southernmost and oldest of the Nordic countries. It borders the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, and consists of a peninsula named Jutland attached to Northern Germany.
The Ural Mountains The mountain range that runs roughly north and south through western Russia marks the northern part of the (arbitrary) border between the continents of Europe and Asia.
The Balkan Peninsula The Balkans is the historic and geographic name used to describe southeastern Europe.
Carpathian Mountains The Fagaras Massif in central Romania's Transylvanian Alps forms the most spectacular range of the Carpathian Mountains Located in six countries of East and Central Europe: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic and Ukraine.
Carpathians (left) Apuseni Mountains in Romania’s part of the Carpathians The geologic structure of the inner part of the Western Carpathians is marked by a break running from the east and the south along a line of dislocation in the Earth's crust.
Danube River The second longest river in Europe, it is one of the major methods of transportation. It is the only major European river to flow west to east, going through eight countries and three capitals including: Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; and Belgrade, Serbia.
Balkan Mts. This is an extension of the Carpathian mountain range, separated from it by the Danube River.
Straits The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles are the straits between the European and Southwest Asian sections of Turkey.
Lake Balaton Lake Balaton is the largest lake of Central Europe
Karst The word "Karst" comes from the historical name given to the border region between today's Italy and Slovenia. In the late 19th century the region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A geographer in Vienna studied the region, which local villagers referred to as a place with lots of rocks and called "karst" in Germany, and found that the rocks were limestone. He used the word to describe limestone formations in general. Landscapes that show the result of limestone dissolution are called karst. They have "karst topography".
Italian Boot The Italian peninsula or the Apennine peninsula is one of the greatest peninsulas of Europe, spanning 1000 km from the Alps in the north, to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south.
Venice flooding High water regularly floods St. Mark's Square and other parts of Venice, forcing people to tread on raised walkways. The city itself is sinking, the level of the Adriatic is rising and high tides are becoming more frequent .
Venice Lagoon The Venice Lagoon has a surface area of 55,000 has and was formed nearly 6,000 years ago. In order to preserve the lagoon and adapt it to existing needs - port, fish farms, land reclamation, transport and industry – for the past 5 centuries man has undertaken increasingly consistent works to achieve hydraulic regulation, mainly by diverting the principal rivers from the Lagoon into the Adriatic Sea, and building numerous reclamation systems on the lower lands to use them for agricultural purposes; in the last 50 years the wetlands have been significantly reduced and the pollution load discharged into the lagoon has been increased. Industrial pollution in the Venice lagoon, 1998
Moses Project After more than a decade of scrutiny, the colossal $2.6 billion Moses project, a flexible seawall with a series of flap gates that would stretch along the lagoon and block tides from flooding the city, is to take off despite the concern risen by some environmentalist groups.
Vatican City The Vatican City, officially the State of the Vatican City is a landlocked enclave surrounded by the city of Rome in Italy , and the smallest independent state in the world. Nearly a billion Catholics worldwide mourned the death of Pope John Paul II this month.
Rome grew along the banks of the Tiber River into a major city under the rule of the Etruscans in the centuries before Christ .
Sicily . The Strait of Messina is between the island of Sicily and the Italian peninsula Italy Mediterranean Sea Strait of Messina
Mt. Etna on the island of Sicily is one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Sirocco This satellite image shows a dust storm over the Mediterranean Sea. The north African winds, known as Sirocco, blow dust north-west out over the Mediterranean Sea from the Libyan desert, all the way to the Italian mainland crossing the island of Sicily and part of Sardinia island to the west. Sicily is subject to constant drought, which is hardly relieved by the oppressive sirocco wind.
Mistral The mistral/maestral is a cold, northerly katabatic wind flowing into the Gulf of Lion from the southern coast of France. Mistrals are most common during winter and spring, although gale-force events can occur year-round. The wind is characterized by the sinking of cold air generated over the mountains and then funneled through the Garone Valley between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central.
Strait of Gibraltar The Strait of Gibraltar, located at the western entrance to the Mediterranean, is frequently associated with strong gap winds that can produce dangerous seas, especially when they blow against tide and current. As shown here, the Strait represents a narrow sea-level passage about 15 kilometers wide and 55 kilometers long that is surrounded by terrain reaching several thousand feet.
The Rock of Gibraltar Strategically important, Gibraltar was ceded to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In referendums held in 1967 and 2002, Gibraltarians ignored Spanish pressure and voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency.
Pyrenees Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Mediterranean in the East, a distance of some 250 miles (402.5km), the mountains of the Pyrenees form a natural barrier between Spain and the Iberian Peninsula in the south and France in the north.
Iberian Peninsula The Meseta, a great uplifted fault block ringed and crossed by mountain ranges, dominates this peninsula that contains the countries of Spain, Portugal, and the tiny Andorra. Coastal lowlands, the site of the major industrial cities, surround the primarily agrarian-oriented Meseta. Climatically, the Iberian Peninsula has hot summers, cold winters, and limited precipitation.
Meseta The middle of Spain is a high, dry, flat plateau called the Meseta . In the Meseta it can be very hot in the summer and cold in the winter .
English Channel Strait of Dover The United Kingdom France
Polder Polder: An area of low-lying land, especially in the Netherlands, that has been reclaimed from a body of water and is protected by dikes.
ZuiderZee On the left side is the salty North Sea, and on the right side the freshwater lake created by the 'Afsluitdijk‘ dam. Zuiderzee
Alps The Alps is the collective name for one of the great mountain range systems of Europe , stretching from Austria in the east, Slovenia , Italy , Switzerland , Liechtenstein and Germany , through to France in the west. The word Alps means mountains.
Land reclamation The Zuiderzee Works is a man-made system of dams , land reclamation and water drainage works, and the largest hydraulic engineering project undertaken by the Netherlands during the twentieth century . The project involved the damming off of the Zuiderzee , a large, shallow inlet of the North Sea , and the reclamation of land in the newly enclosed water body by means of polders .
North Sea Oil Field North Sea oil and natural gas were first discovered in the 1960s. The North Sea, however, did not emerge immediately as a key non-OPEC oil producing area until the 1980s and 1990s, when major discoveries began coming online. Oil and natural gas extraction in the North Sea's inhospitable climate - cold and windy - and at great depths requires sophisticated offshore technology.
Gulf Stream The effect of the Gulf Stream is sufficient to cause certain parts of the west of Britain and Ireland to be an average of several degrees warmer than most other parts of those countries.
The weather in this otherwise cold climate zone, is moderated by the effects of The North Atlantic Drift which originates from the Gulf Stream along North America and from the northern Sargasso Sea. These waters then slowly flow northward into the Labrador and European Basins eventually becoming the NADC as it enters the Iceland Basin. False-color image of the temperature of the Gulf Stream North Atlantic Drift
The global ocean circulation system transports heat throughout the planet. White sections represent warm surface currents. Purple sections represent deep cold currents . Great ocean conveyor
What factors contribute to the patterns of heavy and light rainfall on this map?