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Physical Geography of Eastern Europe
• The area is characterized by several mountain
ranges that are extensions of the Swiss Alps.
• Lowlands within this region have a karst
topography, areas of barren and rocky ground.
• The Balkan Peninsula’s rugged landscape makes
traveling over land difficult, thereby increasing the
importance of waterways for transportation.
• The Balkan Mountains provide a climate barrier
between the Danube River valley and the
transitional climate south of the mountains.
Karst Topography
Balkan Mountains
Water Systems
• Large rivers and seas act as natural borders between
countries and are important to economic activities in the
• The Danube is the second largest river in Europe, passing
through nine countries and emptying into the Black Sea.
• The Vistula River in Poland serves many major cities and
industrial centers, including Warsaw.
• Other waterways, such as the Oder River, branch out from
the main rivers to provide access inland.
Physical Geography of Eastern Europe
Climate, Biomes, and Resources
• Much of Eastern Europe has a humid continental climate.
• The Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, along with the
Hungarian Plain, make up the Danube region.
• Some coastal regions along the Black Sea have microbiomes.
• The Carpathian Mountains contain large energy
reserves, while areas around the Baltic Mountains rely
on water as a natural resource.
Physical Geography of the Russian Core
• The Ural Mountains form a natural barrier between
European Russia and Siberian Russia.
• The majority of the Russian population lives in the
southern part of the Northern European Plain where
there are waterways and fertile soil.
• Ukraine, the second largest European country, has
vast stretches of plains and plateaus.
• Belarus, the smallest of the three Slavic republics that
were once part of the Soviet Union, is a landlocked
country with many lakes.
Physical Geography of the Russian Core
Water Systems
• The longest river in Europe, the Volga, along with
its tributaries, is an important commercial,
transportation, and hydroelectric resource in
• The Dnieper River in Ukraine creates hydroelectric
power, enables commerce, and provides fresh
• Lake Baikal in Siberia, the world’s oldest and
deepest lake, is home to many unusual freshwater
marine species.
Physical Geography of the Russian Core
Climate, Biomes, and Resources
• Russia’s vast expanse of land lies at a high latitude,
resulting in cold, snowy winters.
• The interior of the country experiences continentality, or
the effect of extreme variation in temperature and very
little precipitation.
• Much of Russia’s abundant natural resources are in remote
and climatically unfavorable areas, making them difficult
to utilize.