What exactly is a valley

valley

This glacier carved out a wide valley. Below the river has deepened it even more. This made its banks steeper.

A valley is a landscape that is deeper than the areas in the vicinity. It is longer than it is far. Valleys can have different shapes. Experts do not always agree on what exactly a valley is.

They are mostly created by a river. The river has taken earth from the river bed and from the banks, so that the valley has dug deeper and deeper. A glacier carved out many valleys a long time ago. These valleys are very wide. Usually, a river later dug a narrower notch in the original valley floor.

People like to build their villages and cities where there is fresh water. There should also be fertile soil there so that food can be grown. This is more true of valleys than mountains, especially their lower parts. Thanks to wide rivers, people can also transport their goods on ships. That is why people have always settled there first.

When there was too little land in the lower river valleys, people moved further up the valley to settle there. In the upper, narrower mountain valleys there is hardly any flat land, so life is more strenuous. In addition, the routes become more difficult, so that you can get much less far in the same time. So people were more likely to have their contacts close by, especially earlier when there was no television or internet. That is why old dialects are best preserved in the mountain valleys.


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