Atlantic Central (ATC)

The Environmental zone Atlantic Central is situated in Ireland, South Britain, North and Central France, Belgium, the Netherlands and West Germany. The climate is Atlantic, influenced by the Atlantic ocean. The sum of precipitations does not vary much during a year; the contrast in average monthly temperatures is usually within 10°. The growing season lasts 296 days (270-327) and the sum of active temperatures (above +10°C) is 3849° (3497 °C-4092 °C)

Atlantic central map

The area is flat, except the uplands and low mountains of Bretagne and Cornwell. Ireland is situated on the structures of the Caledonian orogenic belt with geological formations such as Carboniferous, Silurian, and in the west also small segments of Devonian. The British part is dominated by Cretaceous, Palaeocene, Eocene and Quaternary formations in the south-east,  Jurassic in the central region and Triassic continental formations in the west. The Lower Rhine region is dominated by Quaternary (Pleistocene on watersheds and Holocene next to rivers) formations, Münsterland is mostly Cretaceous, the valley of Mosel is Devonian.

Climate diagram Atlantic central

Bretagne, Cornwall, South Ireland and segment in East Wales are of Hercynian origin , the rest of Bretagne is dominated by Archaean formations with acidic and intermediate Palaeozoic intrusions; Cornwall by Devonian (West) and Carboniferous (East) formations, Ireland is mainly Carboniferous, West Wales is Silurian.

In northern France and westen Baden Württemberg  the dominating geological formations are Triassic Jurassic. The dominating geological formations in the Loire region and Bourgogne are archaean in the outer zone of Massif Central and East Bretagne, Jurassic in the north of of the Middle Loire, Bourbonnais and Bourgogne, Cretaceous in Normandie. The Paris basin is of Oligocene and Palaeocene-Eocene origin; the Sâone continental Neocene.

Large areas are covered with Quarternary soils, mostly eluvial-deluvial (Cornwall and Bretagne); in the Netherlands also of alluvial and glacial, in Belgium, North-East France and West Baden-Württemberg of loess-like rocks. In Ireland and Britain glacial deposits dominate the segments in Ireland and Wales (Riss I and Würm I).

The potential vegetation consists of deciduous forests, Oak and Beech). The agriculture is intensive and still intensifying. Most of the area is occupied by crops (wheat, barley, sugar-beet, potatoes and vegetables); The western part of the continent (Netherlands, Bretagne, Ireland, western England, Wales are dominated by grassland farming.  It is the most intensive farming area of Europe as well as the most densily populated and urbanised region.

Soil Vegetation Atlantic central