Europe physical geography: climate, hydrography, vegetation and fauna


Brief summary regarding the subject of Europe physical geography with introduction to climate, hydrography, vegetation and fauna.

Geography Europe

Europe with Asia and Africa forms the ancient continent.

Closely connected with Asia, Eurasia, the two continents do not have a clear geological and geographical separation, but owe their individuality above all to historical and human reasons.

On three sides, the border of Europe is maritime and consists of the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

To the east its conventional border develops as follows: starting from the Sea of ​​Azov it follows the furrow in which the Manyc and the Kura rivers flow in the opposite direction, then goes up the Ural river and follows the eastern base of the Ural Mountains up to the Sea of Kara.

The area corresponds to approximately 10,396,247 square kilometers, and is equal to the fourteenth part of the land that emerged.

The continental extremes of Europe are Cape Nordkinn (Lapland) to the north, Cape da Roca in Portugal to the west, Punta de Tarifa in Spain to the south and the innermost point of the Gulf of Kara to the east.

Europe is made up of a massive part and an articulated part, made up of islands (8%) and peninsulas (27%). Its outline is very jagged.

Physical geography Europe

Europe is mainly formed by lowlands and four regions can be distinguished, the Sarmatic Lowland, which includes the eastern half of Europe, the Reliefs of Scandinavia and the British Isles, the Reliefs of France and Germany, and the Chains Alpine from southern Europe.

European climate

In Europe, six types of climate can be distinguished:

- Atlantic climate, affects the territory from northern Norway to northern Portugal, including the British Isles, most of France, the Netherlands, the western coasts of Denmark, Germany up to the Oder.

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- Transition climate, affects south-eastern Germany, Poland, the upper and middle Danube basin, the internal countries of the Balkan Peninsula and Bulgaria.

- Eastern European climate, also called sarmatic, because it affects most of the Sarmatic Lowlands.

- Pontic climate of southern Russia.

- Mediterranean climate, covers the coastal regions of Crimea, Thrace, Greece, Dalmatia, Italy, southern France and the peripheral areas of the Iberian peninsula.

- Arctic climate, typical of the northernmost regions.


Very long streams do not flow in Europe, Volga 3,531 km., Danube 2,860 km. Rhine 1,326 km. Po 652 km, and does not have vast river basins, nor a central hydrographic node.

On the other hand, plain and basin rivers prevail, which lend themselves to being ascended by ships, such as the Thames, the Seine, the Scheldt and the Rhine.

The area richest in lakes is the circumbaltic one, occupied by Quaternary glaciers, in the Finnocarelic district, with the Ladoga and Onega lakes, and in the Swedish one.

Vast lakes are also found in the Alpine area, such as Lake Geneva and Lake Constance.


Five more or less parallel bands are distinguished from north to south:

- Tundra area, where not very tall shrubs prevail along with moss and lichen.

- Area of ​​the boreal forest, characterized by conifers.

- Temperate forest area, with a prevalence of broad-leaved trees, such as English oak, beech, chestnut, elm, maple.

- Steppe zone, with extensive grasslands.

- Area of ​​the Mediterranean scrub, with evergreen trees and shrubs, represented by maritime and Aleppo pine, holm oak, cork oak, carob tree, mastic, as well as broom, heather and myrtle.


The various regions of Europe do not all have a typical fauna, given the continuous exchanges over time, apart from some exceptions, such as the elk and reindeer that live in the northernmost regions, the bison, which lives only in Poland, and the wild boar, quite common in some areas of central and southern Europe.

Alpine fauna has its own typicality, among its best known representatives, there are the ibex, the chamois and the marmot.

Europe: Climate, Vegetation and Wildlife (November 2022)

Tags: Europe