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Title: Geest  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Föhr, East Frisia, Sylt, Dithmarschen, Lower Saxony
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A geest landscape near Dörpling in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
The Osterheide a heath landscape on geest near Schneverdingen on the Lüneburg Heath, Germany

Geest is a type of slightly raised landscape that occurs in the plains of Northern Germany, the Northern Netherlands and Denmark. It is a landscape of sandy and gravelly soils, usually mantled by a heathland vegetation, comprising glacial deposits left behind after the last ice age during the Pleistocene epoch.[1]

Geest lands are made up of moraines and sandurs. They are almost always next to flat marshlands, the geest being higher and better protected against flood but, compared to the marsh, with poor soil for agriculture. Where the geest borders the sea directly, sand cliffs exist.

The oldest settlements in Northern Germany and Denmark lie on geest, since it provided better protection against storm floods. Many important towns are on the boundary between geest and marshland where people could enjoy the flood-protection of the geest but still use the much more fertile soil in the marsh.

Examples of regions characterised by geest are:

See also


  1. ^ Whittow, John (1984). Dictionary of Physical Geography. London: Penguin, p. 214. ISBN 0-14-051094-X.

External links

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