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Natural regions of Belgium


Belgium landscape
Belgium landscape

Belgium is roughly triangular in shape. It is bounded on the north by Netherlands and the North Sea, on the east by Germany and Luxembourg, and on the south and southwest by France. Belgium has an area of 30,528 sq km (11,787 sq mi), which makes it slightly smaller than the state of Maryland. The country is about 280 km (about 175 mi) long, measured in a southeast-northwest direction, and about 145 km (about 90 mi) wide.

Belgium has three main geographic regions: the coastal plain, the central plateau, and the Ardennes highlands.

Belgium’s coastline, in the northwest, stretches 66 km (41 mi) along the North Sea. A low coastal plain extends inland 16 to 48 km (10 to 30 mi). Nearest the North Sea is a low-lying area consisting mainly of sand dunes and polders. The polders, sections of land reclaimed from the sea and protected by dikes, were developed between the 13th and 15th centuries. Lying farther inland is a flat pastureland drained by canals. The coastal plain’s elevation ranges from sea level to about 20 m (65 ft).

The central plateau


The central plateau is a gently rolling, slightly elevated area. Irrigated by many waterways, it contains a number of wide, fertile valleys with a rich, alluvial soil. Caves, grottoes, and ravines are found in parts of this area.

The Ardennes highlands


The Ardennes highlands, a densely wooded plateau, extends across southeastern Belgium and into northeastern France. Located here is Botrange, the highest peak in Belgium, with an elevation of 694 m (2,277 ft). The average elevation of the Ardennes highlands is 460 m (1,500 ft). The area is generally rocky and poorly suited to agriculture. "Belgium" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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