10.1 Identifying the Region

Europe is a continent of peninsulas, islands, and varied landforms. The European continent’s traditional boundaries include the North Atlantic Ocean to the west and Russia up to the Ural Mountains to the east. Since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, Russia has been given its own identity and, in this text, is not included in Europe’s study. Russia will be holistically discussed in Chapter 3. Greenland is located next to Canada’s North American country but has traditionally been considered a part of Europe because of Denmark’s colonial acquisition of the island. Greenland is physically more a part of North America. The Arctic Ocean creates a natural boundary to the north. Europe’s southern boundary is the Mediterranean Sea and includes Malta and Cyprus’ islands as independent countries. Turkey is in Europe, but Turkey is considered a part of Asia Minor and is usually included in the Middle East. The waterway in Turkey between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea is the Bosporus, or the Istanbul Strait, which creates a natural border between Asia and Europe. Europe is also close to North Africa, and Morocco’s coast can be seen across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain.


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Introduction to World Regional Geography by R. Adam Dastrup, MA, GISP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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