Zealand (Switzerland)

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Location of the Zealand in Switzerland

The Seeland ( French also Seeland ) in the Swiss cantons of Bern , Neuchâtel , Solothurn and Friborg includes the area between the Biel , the Neuchâtel and the Murten lakes and forms part and a region of the three lakes country . It used to be the large floodplain of the Aare and therefore very swampy. After the first correction of the Jura waters , the growing area could be expanded significantly. Today, the Seeland has become the most important vegetable growing area in Switzerland, especially the Grosse Moos .


In the Seeland the predominant language is Swiss German , in its border areas also French or, earlier, Franco Provençal . The cities of Biel / Bienne and Murten are bilingual, with German dominating.


The Zealand landscape is part of the geographic major unit of the Swiss Central Plateau . The subsoil consists mainly of rock layers of the Molasse , which fill a basin between the Alps and the Jura mountains . These rocks are sandstones , conglomerates (Nagelfluh) and marl rocks . They are the products of the weathering of former rivers washed up during the tertiary period from the nearby mountains and deposited in a lake. That is why they are known as fresh water molasses. Under these layers are rocks from the Cretaceous , Jurassic and Triassic (here with a thin layer of salt). The crystalline basement is located at a depth of around 3000 meters.

During the Ice Age, the landscape was covered by the Rhone Glacier , which after its retreat left a glacial surface with moraine deposits . This gravel is omnipresent in the region and is of great importance for the groundwater balance and for building activities. The most recent deposits form limnic sediments that originate from periods of originally larger lake extensions. These are sands and muds as well as organic substances.

The slopes of the Jura descend steeply and almost without upstream elevations to the Seeland. It is mostly gold to light beige limestone . They limit the western flank of the Zealand. In the north and east there are further flat and slightly undulating landscapes of the Central Plateau, for example the Freiburg region.

On the slopes of the Jura mountains, limestone was quarried in various places in Gallo-Roman times and transported across Lake Neuchâtel by ship. Up to the present day the economically used limestone deposits of the Jura have had a decisive influence on the architecture in the cities of Zealand.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Michel Septfontaine, Stefan Ansermet: Belles et utiles pierres de chez nous . Lausanne (Musée cantonal de géologique) 1999
  2. ^ Toni P. Labhart: Geology of Switzerland . Thun (Ott Verlag) 1992