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Natural Regions, Uplands

Massif Central, vast plateau, Vosges, far northwest, Aquitaine

France contains several regions of uplands, the worn down remains of ancient mountain systems. The largest of these is the vast plateau of the Massif Central, in south central France. A region of rounded hills, the Massif Central has abundant extinct volcanoes, remnants of the powerful geologic pressures that uplifted the region. Deep river gorges cut many parts of the Massif Central. The steepest areas of the region are to the east, nearest the Alps. To the west and north the Massif Central gradually descends to meet the Aquitaine and Paris basins.

The Armorican Massif in the far northwest forms the peninsula of Brittany, a landform that juts into the Atlantic Ocean. Less elevated than the Massif Central, the Armorican Massif is still deeply scored by stream valleys and has comparatively little level land. Steep slopes and poor soils restrict agriculture in much of the region. Other uplands include the Vosges and Ardennes mountain ranges in the northeast, where rounded and wooded hills rise above deep valleys.

Article key phrases:

Massif Central, vast plateau, Vosges, far northwest, Aquitaine, central France, wooded hills, landform, uplands, Alps, Steep slopes, remnants, northeast, agriculture, east, parts


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