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North Brabant, Netherlands, The Netherlands (51.60177 5.44414)
The historical region of Kempen occupies the southern part of the province of Noord-Brabant and extends south of Eindhoven far into northern Belgium. To the east it reaches as far as the Meuse valley. The surface topography of De Kempen is very uniform. Most of it lies between 5m/15 ft and 35m/115 ft above sea level. The basement rocks are Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments, which are overlaid by Ice Age gravels and sands carried here by rivers of melt-water from the retreating glaciers. It is a typical area of sandy heathland. The infertile soil is suitable only for undemanding crops such as rye, oats, potatoes and fodder plants; this limits the profitability of agriculture. Until a few decades ago Kempen was a region of heathland and sand drifts with a sparse growth of pines, a few scattered villages subsisting on the poor soil and some small towns; and this is still the pattern in much of the region. In recent years, however, the rapid advance of industry has brought about profound changes in this agricultural region. The origins of this industrial development go back 70–100 years. The main concentrations of industry are along the southern frontier of the Netherlands, e.g., at Eindhoven, Helmond, Tilburg, Breda, 's-Hertogenbosch.