Sweden - Topography
Northern Sweden (Norrland) slopes from the Kjölen Mountains along the Norwegian frontier (with the high point at Kebnekaise, 2,111 m/6,926 ft) to the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia. The many rivers—notably the Göta, the Dal, the Angerman, the Ume, and the Lule—flow generally toward the southeast and have incised the plateau surface; waterfalls abound. Central Sweden, consisting of a down-faulted lowland, has several large lakes, of which Vänern (5,584 sq km/2,156 sq mi) is the largest in Europe outside the former USSR. To the south of the lake belt rises the upland of Smaland and its small but fertile appendage, Skane. The lowlands were once submerged and so acquired a cover of fertile, silty soils. Much of Sweden is composed of ancient rock; most ice erosion has resulted in generally poor sandy or stony soils. The best, most lime-rich soils are found in Skane, and this southernmost district is the leading agricultural region; it resembles Denmark in its physical endowments and development.