Austria Geography

Austria Geography

According to rctoysadvice, Austria borders in the north on Germany (Bavaria), the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, in the east on Hungary, in the south on Slovenia and Italy and in the west on Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Austria is predominantly a mountainous country, almost two thirds of the country, the entire west, the center and the central south, are occupied by the Eastern Alps. The most important settlement and economic areas, however, are the flat and hilly regions (Alpine and Carpathian foothills, Vienna Basin, the peripheral basin of the Pannonian Plain) as well as the inner-Alpine longitudinal valleys and basins.

The Eastern Alps are divided into parallel rock zones that fan out to the east and lose noticeably in height. In the north, the crystalline Central Alps are separated by a large longitudinal valley furrow (Walgau, Kloster, Stanzer, Inn, Salzach and Ennstal as well as Mur and Mürzfurche) from the northern Grauwackenzone (Kitzbühel and Eisenerzer Alps) and the Northern Limestone Alps. Another important longitudinal valley, the Drautal, including the Klagenfurt Basin, slides between the crystalline central Alps and the Lienz Dolomites or the Gailtal Alps (central limestone Alps). The highest parts of the Central Alps are formed by the Hohe Tauern massif; its highest point, the Grossglockner (3 798 m above sea level), is the highest mountain in Austria.

The ridge of the southern Grauwackenzone (Carnic Alps and Karawanken) in parts of the south represents the state border with Italy and Slovenia.

From a geotectonic point of view, this part of the mountain as well as the Southern Limestone Alps (Dolomites, Julian Alps) are no longer on the Eurasian, but already on the African-Adriatic plate. Both plates are separated from one another by a distinctive fault line, the periadriatic suture. This joint is visible in the landscape through an almost 100 km long, almost straight-line longitudinal valley furrow (Lesach, Gail, Rosen and Jaun valleys). In the north and northwest (Mühlviertel, Waldviertel) Austria has a share in the granite and gneiss highlands of the Bohemian Massif, which in the Sauwald, in the Kürnberger Wald, in the Neustadtler Platte and in the Dunkelsteiner Wald also continue beyond the Danube, which is why the river has mostly developed scenic narrow valley stretches here. The Wachau, which separates the Dunkelsteiner Wald from the Waldviertel, is particularly impressive.

The granite and gneiss plateau can be interpreted as a remnant of the Variscan mountain system that was eroded in the Paleozoic and later – in the early Cenozoic – was lifted out together with the Alps. Between the Alps, granite and gneiss highlands, the landscape of hills, slabs and terraces of the Alpine (south of the Danube) and Subcarpathian (Innviertel, Weinviertel). This is a large collecting trough, which is mainly filled with the debris from the Alps (and partly from the Carpathians). The gravel masses piled up by the post-glacial meltwater form extensive plates (e.g. Traun-Enns plate). Loess predominates in the Sub-Carpathian Mountains. In the Bisamberg north of Vienna, the foothills of the Alps reach beyond the Danube, and the island mountains that run through the Weinviertel also belong to the alpine fold. The extreme east and south-east of the country form the Vienna Basin, a basin between the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains, which runs through the Danube into the Vienna Basin proper (in the south) and the Marchfeld is separated, as well as the peripheral areas of the Pannonian lowlands, namely the Grazer Bucht and the bays of Oberpullendorf and Neusiedl, whose sediments build up a flat undulating hill and terraced land. At 115 m above sea level, Lake Neusiedl is the lowest part of the country. A special feature of the Styrian hill country is the tertiary volcanism, the consequences of which are acidulous, mineral springs and thermal baths, which are also increasingly valued in economic terms.

Hydrographically, 96% of the national territory belong to the catchment area of ​​the Danube, which flows through Austria from west to east (for 350 km); important tributaries from the right are Lech and Inn with Salzach (mouth in Germany or as border rivers), Traun, Enns, Ybbs and Traisen and (with mouths outside Austria) Leitha, Raab (with Lafnitz and Pinka) and, in the south of the country, the Drava flowing to the east(with Möll, Gail, Gurk and Mur). Mostly smaller rivers come from the left, especially Krems, Kamp and March (with the Thaya). Vorarlberg mainly belongs to the catchment area of ​​the Rhine, especially the Ill, parts of the edge of the Mühlviertel and Waldviertel to that of the Elbe, mainly to that of the Vltava tributary Lainsitz. In addition to numerous alpine cirque lakes (and artificial reservoirs), Austria has two lake landscapes with larger tongue basin lakes created during the Ice Age: the Salzkammergut (especially Atter, Mond, Traun and Wolfgang lakes) and the area of ​​the Carinthian lakes (with Millstätter, Ossiacher and Wörther See as well Weissensee). In addition, Austria has a share in Lake Neusiedl in the east (135 km 2on Austrian territory, largest lake area in the country) and a very small one on Lake Constance in the west.

The largest lakes in Austria

Biggest lakes
Surname Federal State Area (in km 2) greatest depth (in m)
Neusiedler See (Austrian part, without reed belt Burgenland 135 ∼ 2
Attersee Upper Austria 45.9 169
Traun or Gmundersee Upper Austria 24.5 191
Wörther See Carinthia 19.3 86
Mondsee Upper Austria 14.2 68
Wolfgangsee Salzburg / Upper Austria 13.5 114
Millstätter See Carinthia 13.3 140
Ossiacher See Carinthia 10.6 52
Hallstatt Lake Upper Austria 8.4 125
Achensee Tyrol 6.8 133
Weissensee Carinthia 6.4 97
Wallersee or Seekirchner See Salzburg 6.4 23
Obertrumer See Salzburg 4.9 35
Lake Zell Salzburg 4.7 68
Grundlsee Styria 4.2 64

Austria Geography