The Swiss plateau extends 290km long and up to 48km wide. It was an arm of the sea and now forms a corridor between the Jura and the Alps.
The Swiss plateau occupies 30% of the total area
The region is composed of molasses (sediments) from the Alps, Jura and Black forest.
There are large stones and sand stone nearer the Alps.
Much of the plateau is covered by morainic materials forming a landscape of low hills and numerous forests.
Its average height above sea level is (580m). The plateau experiences milder climate suitable for settlement, therefore it is the most populated area with 2/3 of Switzerland’s population.
The region is the most productive part of Switzerland and has become the economic heart of Switzerland.
The importance of the Swiss plateau
- It is the economic heart of Switzerland with many towns, cities and industries. For example Basel an inland port, centre for chemical and textile industries. Zurich an important city for textiles, Beru the capital city and Geneva a centre for watch making and precision
- It is a region with most fertile soil and mild climate suitable for agriculture. Therefore, crops such as wheat, maize, vines, fruits and flowers are grown.
- There is animal rearing carried out because of rich pastures and fodder crops.
- The undulating landscape has enabled mechanized agriculture, settlement, construction of good transport network and industrialization.