CASE STUDIES

The Restless Earth – The Jura Range

The Restless Earth – The Jura Range

The Jura Range

Stretching 200 kilometres (124 miles) through France, Germany and Switzerland, the Jura Mountains are a beautiful but challenging place to live. The lower slopes are dotted with dairy farms and pastureland, but many slopes are too steep for cattle or for growing crops. The mountains have a dense covering of forest -‘Jura’ is Latin for ‘forest’ – so there is plenty of wood available to build chalet-style houses.

One of the main difficulties of living in a fold mountain range is getting around. Moving along the valley is easy enough, but getting from one valley to another is much more difficult. Another problem is trying to grow crops on steep slopes and with very poor soil. Local farmers try to grow crops which are adapted to the harsh terrain. Animals such as goats and sheep graze on the steep slopes and most people live in the valley floor; this is known as ‘steep relief‘.

Like many mountain areas, the Jura has been used for mining for hundreds of years. In the Jura much of this mining is for asphalt, which is used around the world to build roads. However, these days much of the income to the Jura region comes from tourism. Visitors come from all over the world to see the mountains and skiing is also very popular.