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Rivers of the Central European Highlands and Plains

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  • Martin Pusch, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
  • ,
  • Hans E. Andersen
  • Jürgen Bäthe, EcoRing
  • ,
  • Horst Behrendt, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
  • ,
  • Helmut Fischer, German Federal Institute of Hydrology
  • ,
  • Nikolai Friberg, Norwegian Institute for Water Research
  • ,
  • Aleksandra Gancarczyk, Drawa National Park
  • ,
  • Carl C. Hoffmann
  • Justyna Hachoł, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences
  • ,
  • Brian Kronvang
  • Franciszek Nowacki, Polish Geological Institute NRI
  • ,
  • Morten L. Pedersen, Aalborg University
  • ,
  • Leonard Sandin, Norwegian Institute for Water Research
  • ,
  • Franz Schöll, German Federal Institute of Hydrology
  • ,
  • Matthias Scholten, German Federal Institute of Hydrology
  • ,
  • Sonja Stendera, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • ,
  • Lars M. Svendsen
  • Ewa Wnuk-Gławdel, Drawa National Park
  • ,
  • Christian Wolter, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries

Some of the main rivers of the Central European Highlands and Plains flow into the Baltic and North Seas, including the rivers Weser, Elbe, and Oder, drain the ecoregion of the central European highlands and plains. In addition to these rivers, this chapter describes some smaller but peculiar rivers such as the Em (Sweden), Skjern (Denmark), Spree (Germany), and Drawa (Poland). Much of the landscape is dominated by glacial and periglacial geomorphic elements such as moraines, outwash plains adjacent to terminal moraines, different types of lakes (ice-scour lakes, moraine-dammed ribbon lakes, kettle lakes, and glacial drift-plain lakes formed under the ice sheet), large glacial valleys, and large lowland plains consisting of glaciofluvial deposits. The different retreat stages of the glacial sheet produced a sequence of glacial valleys forcing meltwaters toward the North Sea. These valleys are used partially by some rivers today, including the Elbe, Spree, Warta, and Skjern. As river sediments mainly consist of sand, sediment transport occurs nearly continuously, creating ripples or subaqueous sand dunes often reaching a crest height of up to 1.5m. Regional ecological characteristics of flowing waters in the ecoregion were summarized. This chapter summarizes the hydrology, biochemistry, geomorphology, flora and fauna, and economic importance of each of these rivers. Human intervention to conserve and manage these rivers is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRivers of Europe
Number of pages57
PublisherElsevier
Publication year1 Jan 2021
Pages717-773
ISBN (print)9780081026137
ISBN (Electronic)9780081026120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Drawa, Elbe, Fauna, Flora, Oder, Skjern, Weser

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