federal republic is a federation of states, with a republican form of central government. It differs from a unitary state in that in a federal republic, the authorities of the state governments cannot be taken back by the central government.

A republic is a country belonging to the people, whereas a federation is a form of government where by regional divisions are not branches of the central government. Thus, a federal republic has power divisions and regional governments fall under the power domain of the national government.

Many countries have a federal republic government; for example, the Republic of Austria, the Federal Republic of Brazil, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of India, the United Mexican States, the Swiss Confederation, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and the United States of America. As this list shows, some of these countries use “Federal Republic” in their name, and some do not. Federal Republics usually have presidents.

There can be more than one type of Federal republic. For example, the United States is a Constitutional Democratic Federal Republic. Ethiopia also has a Federal Republic government.

To the north of Germany are the North and Baltic Seas, and the kingdom of Denmark. To the east of Germany are the countries of Poland and the Czech Republic. To the south of Germany are the countries of Austria and Switzerland. To the west of Germany are the countries of FranceLuxembourgBelgium, and the Netherlands. The total area of Germany is 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 square miles). Most of Germany has warm summers and cold winters. In March 2021, Germany had a population of 83.1 million people, the second-largest in Europe after Russia.[10] After the United States, Germany is the second most popular country for migration in the world

During the mid-1800s, Prussia was led by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who is sometimes known as the “Father of Germany”. He led a process to bring the German people together under one country. In 1866, Prussia won a war against Austria and their allies. During this time, Prussia founded the North German Confederation. The treaty of unification of Germany was made in Versailles after Germany won the Franco-Prussian War in 1871.[14] This began the Second Reich. The biggest state in the new German Empire was Prussia. The rulers were called Kaisers or “German Emperors”, but they did not call themselves “Emperors of Germany”. There were many smaller states in the Empire, but not Austria.

The North Sea is a sea that is part of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Europe. The North Sea is between Norway and Denmark in the east, Scotland and England in the west, Germany, the NetherlandsBelgium and France in the south.

Well-known rivers that drain into the North Sea include the Tay (at Dundee), the Forth (at Edinburgh), the Tyne (South Shields), the Wear (at Sunderland), the Tees (near Middlesbrough), the Elbe (at Cuxhaven), the Weser (at Bremerhaven), the Rhine and Meuse or Maas (at Rotterdam), the Scheldt (at Flushing or Vlissingen), the Thames, and the Humber (at Hull), and the river Nairn (at Nairn)

The Kiel Canal, one of the world’s busiest artificial waterways, connects the North Sea with the Baltic.

The Skagerrak connects the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. In the south, the North Sea becomes the English Channel, a sea between England and France. This is called the Dover Straits and is very busy with ships.

The border between the North Sea and the Skagerrak is at an imagined line between Lindesnes in Norway, and Hanstholm in Denmark. In the North, the North sea is open towards the Atlantic. The border between the two is an imagined line from Northern Scotland, to Shetland, and then to Ålesund in Norway. According to the Oslo-Paris Treaty of 1962 it is a bit more to the west and the north though. The treaty puts it at 5° East longitude, and 62° North latitude. That is at the parallel of the Geirangerfjord in Norway.

Most of the North sea is on the European Continental shelf. On average, the depth is about 93 to 94 meters only. In the south it is very shallow, only 25 to 35 meters. In the north in the bathyal zone north of Shetland, this depth increases to between 100 and 200 metres. In the south, the depth is at most 50 metres. An exception to this is the Norwegian Trench. It is deepest there, with a depth of 725 metres. The most shallow part of it is a sand bank called Dogger Bank. In the southern part, there are many sand banks.

Looking at the satellite picture it is easy to see the geographic divisions of the North Sea:

  • a generally shallow southern North Sea
  • the central North Sea
  • the northern North Sea, with the Norwegian Trench, near the Skagerrak.
  • The southern north sea is composed of the Southern Bight, before the coast of Belgium and the Netherlands and the German Bight before the coastline of Germany. The Dogger Bank is the limit between the southern and central parts. The Waddenzee runs all the way from Den Helder in the Netherlands to Esbjerg in Denmark.

    The Dogger Bank covers an area about half the size of the Netherlands. There, the North Sea has a depth of between 13 and 20 metres only. The area is very famous for fishing. With some storms there are even waves breaking there.

    The Norwegian Trench has an average depth of around 250 to 300 metres; at the entrance to the Skagerrak, the depth increases up to 725 meters. Along the trench is the Norwegian Current, which brings most of the waters of the North Sea into the Atlantic Ocean. Also, most of the waters of the Baltic Sea flow northwards here.

    About 200 km east of the Scottish city of Dundee there are more trenches, known collectively as the Devil’s hole. Generally, the water is about 90 meters deep there. The trenches very often are only a few kilometers in length. In these trenches, the depth increases to up to 230 meters.

    In the Dover Strait the water is about 30 meters deep. At the end of the English Channel, this depth increases to about 100 meters.

    The southern north sea is composed of the Southern Bight, before the coast of Belgium and the Netherlands and the German Bight before the coastline of Germany. The Dogger Bank is the limit between the southern and central parts. The Waddenzee runs all the way from Den Helder in the Netherlands to Esbjerg in Denmark.

    The Dogger Bank covers an area about half the size of the Netherlands. There, the North Sea has a depth of between 13 and 20 metres only. The area is very famous for fishing. With some storms there are even waves breaking there.

    The Norwegian Trench has an average depth of around 250 to 300 metres; at the entrance to the Skagerrak, the depth increases up to 725 meters. Along the trench is the Norwegian Current, which brings most of the waters of the North Sea into the Atlantic Ocean. Also, most of the waters of the Baltic Sea flow northwards here.

    About 200 km east of the Scottish city of Dundee there are more trenches, known collectively as the Devil’s hole. Generally, the water is about 90 meters deep there. The trenches very often are only a few kilometers in length. In these trenches, the depth increases to up to 230 meters.

    In the Dover Strait the water is about 30 meters deep. At the end of the English Channel, this depth increases to about 100 meters.

    Rocks can be very different from each other. Some are very hard and some are soft. Some rocks are very common, while others are rare. However, all the different rocks belong to three categories or types, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

    • Igneous rock is rock that has been made by volcanic action. Igneous rock is made when the lava (melted rock on the surface of the Earth) or magma (melted rock below the surface of the Earth) cools and becomes hard.
    • Sedimentary rock is rock that has been made from sediment. Sediment is solid pieces of stuff that are moved by wind, water, or glaciers, and dropped somewhere. Sediment can be made from clay, sandgravel and the bodies and shells of animals. The sediment gets dropped in a layer, usually in water at the bottom of a river or sea. As the sediment piles up, the lowers layers get squashed together. Slowly they set hard into rock.
    • Metamorphic rock is rock that has been changed. Sometimes an igneous or a sedimentary rock is heated or squashed under the ground, so that it changes. Metamorphic rock is often harder than the rock that it was before it changed. Marble and slate are among the metamorphic rocks that people use to make things.

      Geologists use some simple ideas which help them to understand the rocks they are studying. The following ideas were worked out in the early days of stratigraphy by people like Nicolaus StenoJames Hutton and William Smith:

      1. Understanding the past: Geologist James Hutton said “The present is the key to the past”. He meant that the sort of changes that are happening to the Earth’s surface now are the same sorts of things that happened in the past. Geologists can understand things that happened millions of years ago, by looking at the changes which are happening today.
      2. Horizontal strata: The layers in a sedimentary rock must have been horizontal (flat) when they were deposited (laid down).
      3. The age of the strata: Layers at the bottom must be older than layers at the top, unless all the rocks have been turned over.
      4. In sedimentary rocks that are made of sand or gravel, the sand or gravel must have come from an older rock.
      5. The age of faults: If there is a crack or fault in a rock, then the fault is younger than the rock. Rocks are in strata (lots of layers). A geologist can see if the faults go through all the layer, or only some. This helps to tell the age of the rocks.
      6. The age of a rock which cuts through other rocks: If an igneous rock cuts across sedimentary layers, it must be younger than the sedimentary rock.
      7. The relative age of fossils: A fossil in one rock type must be about the same age as the same type of fossil in the same type of rock in a different place. Likewise, a fossil in a rock layer below must be earlier than one in a higher layer

        Groundwater in rock formations[change | change source]

        One kind of groundwater is found in underground rivers in caves where water flows freely underground. This may occur in eroded limestone areas known as karst topography, but those are only found in small parts of the Earth.

        Usually, groundwater is found in the pore spaces, or tiny openings, of rocks under the ground. The pores in the rocks are saturated, or filled up, with water, much like a kitchen sponge. The groundwater can be pumped out for agricultural, industrial, or municipal uses.

        If a rock unit of low porosity is highly fractured, it can make a good aquifer (via fissure flow), if the water can get through it. Porosity is important, but, alone, it does not make an aquifer. The Deccan Traps (a flood basaltic lava) in west central India are good examples of rock with high porosity but low permeability, so they are poor aquifers. The (Upper CretaceousChalk of south east England has a reasonably high porosity, but low grain-to-grain permeability. Much of its good water-yielding characteristics being due to micro-fracturing and fissuring.

        Exploitation[change | change source]

        Aquifers can occur at various depths. Those closer to the surface are not only more likely to be exploited for water supply and irrigation, but are also more likely to be topped up by the local rainfall. Many desert areas have limestone hills or mountains within them or close to them which can be exploited as groundwater resources. If more water is taken out than get in again one speaks of over-harvesting. Along the coastlines of certain countries, such as Libya and Israel, population growth has led to over-population which has caused the lowering of water table and the subsequent contamination of the groundwater with saltwater from the sea (saline intrusions). In these cases the aquifer contains brackish water.

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