The Alps case study

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  • Geography- Case study: The Alps
    • Physical features
      • Glaciated valleys
        • U-shaped valleys e.g. Rhone valley
      • High mountain peaks
        • e.g. Mont Blanc in the western Alps at 4,810m
      • Ribbon lakes
        • Depressions filled with rainwater e.g. Lake Como
      • Rivers
        • Steep slopes and high precipitation lead to rivers e.g. River Rhine
    • Uses of the Alps
      • Mining
        • Decreased because its cheaper to import minerals from foreign countries
        • Minerals in the alps: iron ore, magnesium, zinc, silver, copper and salt
      • Hydroelectric power
        • Perfect conditions e.g. high precipitation, steep slopes and melting glaciers
        • HEP electricity is cheaper and used in aluminium smelting or smelting or it's exported
        • 60% of electricity in Switzerland is HEP from the Bieudron power station
      • Tourism
        • Popular attributes all year around
        • Winter: skiing resorts such as Chamonix are popular
        • Summer: resorts such as Garda popular with walkers and climbers
      • Agriculture
        • Sunnier southern slopes
        • Transhumance used
          • In summer livestock taken to high slopes so crops are grown on valley floor
          • In winter the livestock taken back to valley floor to eat crops grown
        • coniferous trees grown on northern slopes
    • Adaptations to the Alps
      • Poor soil
        • Coniferous trees grown as they will grow in the soil
        • Cattle graze where soil quality is poor
        • Crops grown on the valley floor where the soil is more fertile
      • Steep relief
        • cable cars built
        • goats and cattle well adapted to steep relief
        • trees planted to protect from avalanches and landslides
      • Limited communications
        • Improved phone signals
        • railways and roads built on valley floor
        • roads built between low points of the mountains
          • e.g. Brenner pass between Italy and Austria
        • Tunnels cut through the mountains


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