Finland Territory

By | December 17, 2021

Structurally, the Finnish territory is included in a larger region, called Fennoscandia, extended to all the lands north of the Baltic and NW. of the isthmuses between the Gulf of Finland, Ladoga, Onega and the gulf of the same name. It emerged already in the distant age as part of a northern continent, various, complex relief which, subjected for thousands of years to the work of destruction of subaerial agents, has totally disappeared, leaving appear in flattened or semispianate surface (penepiano) the most ancient rocks that formed the internal skeleton. The Fennoscandia was solicited by powerful pushes in the Paleozoic; for them they came to wrinkle to NO. what are today the Scandinavian Alps, but also in these more eastern areas, various motions have certainly spread. And yet also the new altitudes and the new depressions were again, in the following ages, leveled and leveled. A last period of upheavals moved northern Europe in the Tertiary: the Scandinavian peninsula was further raised, more to the West, where it acquired a steeper external slope, less to E., where indeed its slopes gradually bent until they let penetrate the marine waters on the one hand in the White Sea, on the other in the Baltic and its breasts, first pushed to include what today are the lakes of Ladoga and Onega. For Finland culture and traditions, please check

The whole of Fennoscandia was, at times, covered by the grandiose cap of ice stretched as far as central Russia and northern Germany. The slow flow of the ice carried out the work of leveling, removed the previous depositions, cleaned and deepened the cracks in the primitive rocks, upset the network drawn by the previous hydrography, so deeply, that minimal signs can be traced. However, glacialism accompanied this work of destruction with a work of construction. The moraine debris was spread to cover most of Finland, so that today it constitutes the most widespread surface terrain, in which the most prominent parts of the primitive penepiano rise in the form of scattered bumps or sink the lacustrine cavities or extend the yet vast swampy and peaty surfaces. åsar (finn. harjuja). Narrow, in general, and tens and even hundreds of kilometers long, they have humpback shapes or flat-topped embankments, with frequent depressions or interruptions. Roads, crops, inhabited areas benefit from it characteristically. Radial and marginal åsars are distinguished. The former are arranged parallel to the direction of the last movement of the ice, originating from retreat phases of the glacial fronts. The others are what we would prefer to say terminal or frontal, and each of them marks a phase of rest: the most striking are the two Salpaus selkä, which stretch across the whole of Finland, almost for their entire course parallel, although overall more united and continuous the first, that is more to the SE. A third Salpaus selkä, very broken, is also recognized, but only in a short southwestern section. Lastly, postglacial sediments have little diffusion. The coastal ones (sands, clays, muds) have a deltaic character: dragged and deposited in the sinuses of a shallow sea, they have been brought to light by the successive last general elevations of the whole country. Others, in the interior, settled on the bottom of lake basins and were brought to light due to the lowering of the water masses.

Under these glacial or fluvio-glacial deposits, and emerging where they are missing, they are therefore immediately the most ancient formations of the geological chronology. Only the Isthmus of Karelia (between the Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland) and the extreme opposites of the Enontekiö and Petsamo can present formations of the very long evi elapsing between the Cambrian and the dawn of the Quaternary. Along the eastern border there is an area marked by the prevalence of granite gneisses, which extends into the extreme northern region, widely mixed here, however, with peculiar leptinites or granulites. Immediately to the W of this first area the crystalline schists become prevalent, starting from Ladoga towards the N. and NW. up to Lake Oulu and from here to N. Similar rocks are also extended to the NE. of extreme bosom of the Gulf of Bothnia. In the large region lying between the Gulf of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland and Ladoga, the structure of the Precambric masses is much more complicated. Crystalline schists of distant sedimentary origin and granite masses are so mixed as to make their cartographic representation extremely difficult. However, there is no shortage of areas characterized by the prevalence of one type or another of formation: thus the vast areas along the southern coast, in which the particular granite dominates rapakivi ; the central granite district; the various areas of the SW., where the granite is largely mixed with basic eruptive rocks and also with crystalline schists, sometimes intimately mixed (migmatite). Notable areas dominated by the effusion of eruptive rocks are not lacking: diabase near Pori and in the Ladoga islands; metabasalts or Uralithic porphyrites from Hămeenlinna and the archipelago off Porvoo; the ijolite characteristic of Kuusamo.

So simple, basically, in its structure (a crystalline penepiano strewn with morainic debris), the Finnish landscape can only be very simple, even though it is admirably varied in details. This contrast constitutes the fundamental character of the geographical landscape. A line that follows the Oulu river and the lake of the same name, then from the extreme southern bosom of this one goes straight to Joensuu and from here returns to the NE. up to the border it leaves the main body of the Finnish territory to S. and O. In this we distinguish a coastal edge between 0 and 50 meters above sea level (generally 20-30 km wide, exceptionally up to 40-50) and an internal Ripiano dei Laghi, in which the altimetric variations, although innumerable, are limited between the isoipsa of 50 m. and maximum elevations of 223 above Lahti (highest point in southern Finland), than 235 at Kuopio, 252 at Pöllömäki (at S. di Iisalmi), 223 at Lauhanvuori, the highest point towards the W. However, it should be noted that the differences in level of the solid surface are greater, as many reach depths between 75 and 100 m. and beyond, up to the maximum of the Päijänne (17 m below sea level). The watersheds do not reveal themselves with plastically evident forms, if not here and there for very short stretches. The only exception can be the Suomen selkä which separates the plains of the Eastern Bothnia and the high ground of the Häme. NE. of the aforementioned line the elevations become greater, nevertheless up to the Iijoki they do not reach 400 m.: the maximum heights are, around 65 ° lat., the Paljakka (384 m.) and the Siikavaara (350). Further north, the relief takes on a decidedly hilly aspect, except in the immediate vicinity of the coast, where flat surfaces are still observed. At the E. it is Kuusamo, the modest “Finnish Switzerland” (Isosyöte, 432 m., Iivaara 470, Nuorunen 577, Vuosna tunturi and Rohmoiva, immediately N. of the Polar Circle, 623 and 656 m respectively). To the W the Kemi basin gradually rises up to the watershed, called Maan selkä, marked by some bumps at 636 and 547 m. From here it descends again towards Petsamo, still emerging only a few isolated hills over 500 m., Up to the Musta tunturi raised at 507 on the Arctic coast. Around Lake Inari we find a level landscape of a Finnish type of its own; and it is almost transitional to that of the extreme NO., dominated by quite different characters. This

Coasts. – The Baltic creeps towards N. and towards E. to embrace most of Finland with its two characteristic offshoots (see Baltic, sea and Finland, Gulf of).

The extreme northern coast is washed by the Barents Sea, a subdivision of the Arctic Sea (v.). Access to the coasts is hindered in the winter due to the formation of ice. Only the extreme coast of Petsamo, due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, is free from it, but this advantage has for now only a potential value.

Upon contact with the sea, the relief gives rise to a design of the coasts, equally characterized by the contrast between the simplicity of the general features and the complexity of the details. Along the continental coast the contact of the water surface occurs now with the morainic or deltaic depositions, now with the prominent relics of the primitive penepian. Then offshore it is particularly these that emerge in islets and rocks with abrupt, picturesque walls. The game of level variations, innumerable if even scarce in value, occurring here around 0, determines this wonderful variety of islands, rocks and breasts: islands that rise to a maximum of 158 m. of Suursaari (Hogland) and to the 132 of the Greater Åland; seas that rarely deepen beyond 50 m., before 20-25 km. offshore.

Finland Territory