If you have an appreciation for geography, history and culture, then you will appreciate this bit of background information about the topography of the Netherlands, which is one of the contributing factors to this country’s unique landscape.The Netherlands is considered to have an unusual topography owing to the fact that much of its land is below sea level. This is because a huge chunk of the country’s 41.5k square kilometers was reclaimed from the sea and is protected by dikes for obvious reasons.
This country has three natural geographical divisions which include sand dunes, lowlands and highlands each with unique features that contribute to its topography. Let’s take a look at the3 distinct features that make up the Dutch topography.
#1 The coastal dunes
The coastal dunes are an important part of the Dutch topography because it’s what protects the Netherlands from the sea waters. These dunes that are made up of sand,rise between 4.5m to 7.5m and they protect the inland from flooding as a result of storms in the North Sea.
#2 The low and flat lands
The low and flat lands in the north and west of Netherlands make up about half of the country’s surface area and is made up of land that has been reclaimed from the sea. Most of this land is below sea level with the highest point being less than one meter above sea level. Most of this land is utilized for urban settlements and agricultural production.
#3 The Southern highlands
The only part of Netherlands that is above sea level is the southern highlands of the country where the highest point rises to about 322 meters above sea level. This region is characterized by fertile soils, which support crop production.
In spite of this unusual topography, the Netherlands is highly urbanized and is among the world’s most densely populated countries, currently ranked at position 30.