Is silt soil suitable for cultivation

Hydrography, Agriculture and Soil in Northern Germany

Using the map on pp. 18-19 in the Diercke World Atlas, I will describe the hydrography of northern Germany. As already described in the last homework from 02/05/01, rivers, bodies of water and seas are shown in blue.

What is noticeable about Northern Germany's hydrography is that many large and important rivers (Ems, Weser and Elbe) flow into the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Their origin lies in the German low mountain range, i. H. the rivers flow from the south-east in a north-westerly direction to northern Germany, where they flow into the seas. This is because the river sources are higher than the oceans (between 750 and 1000 m) and natural rivers have emerged over the course of thousands of years. were and are dependent on the respective land height.

Another characteristic feature of northern Germany's hydrography is the Mecklenburg Lake District, which is located in the northeast of northern Germany (the southwestern part of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania). It consists of numerous medium-sized lakes (including Schweriner See, Plauer See, Müritz), most of which are connected by smaller rivers and canals. The origin of this - in relation to Germany - extraordinary lake landscape can be traced back to the last ice age in Germany, which was about 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. This caused soil erosion, which among other things. Lakes like the Müritz formed.

Finally, there is the Wadden Sea on the North Sea coast, the wide area from the coast to the East or North Frisian Islands, which - depending on the tides - is either overflowed with water or even accessible in the form of silty soil. This type of sea, unique all over the world, is only found on a few North Sea coasts; Although similar forms occur in tropical or dry climates, the tidal flats, i.e. the sea floor, are not as rich in small animals and microorganisms.

Agriculture & Soil Types

(see Diercke World Atlas pp. 48-49)

Northern Germany has numerous different soil types, but there are not as many different types as in southern Germany, for example. The predominant type is the Podsole, which is rather sterile and is used in agriculture as pasture or grassland. (Para-) brown soils also occur, especially around Emden and Cloppenburg-Diepholz-Osnabrück as well as in the eastern half of Schleswig-Holstein and in large areas of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (also the eastern part). These areas, which were created by soil erosion (due to the deforestation of forests), are also used as pastureland but also as cultivation areas for grain. Also widespread are peat soils that are close to the coast, but not directly by the sea. Bog soils are very moist and spongy, which is why agriculture cannot be carried out on them. Such use is only possible if these areas dry out. In addition, peat can be extracted there, which is used in plant cultivation and as fuel. Marsh soils, which are mainly found on the North Sea coast, are hardly usable for the cultivation of grain and are therefore mainly used for cattle farming. Only wheat is grown there in places (Ostfriesland, Dithmarschen), although in Germany it is mainly grown in the low mountain range (the areas around the Harz Mountains). The pseudogleye soil type found on the Baltic Sea coast (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) is very water-rich and is therefore used as grain land. The very nutrient-rich loess soil is found in northern Germany only in the south, where the northern German lowlands merge into the low mountain range. This type of soil can only be found south of Bremen and Oldenburg.

Finally, to name two more characteristic features of North German agriculture, one should first take a look at northern and western Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. Intensive livestock farming is practiced there, especially in the Cloppenburg and Oldenburg areas. This branch of agriculture can also be found several times along the coasts. The drained peat soils and the brown soils are the ideal conditions for this.

In addition to the cultivation of wheat near the coast (Kieler Bucht, on the east side of Schleswig-Holstein), Schleswig-Holstein also has a cultivation of rapeseed that is unique in Germany, from which the rapeseed oil required for some new types of engine systems is obtained, which is much lower in pollutants than Is gasoline or diesel oil.