June 8, 2009

Topography and geology

Posted in Blogging, Culture, Finland, Guide, Nature, Photo, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Travel, Trip, Vacation at 7:18 am by finlandtrip

Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands – 187,888 lakes (larger than 500 m²) and 179,584 islands. One of these lakes, Saimaa, is the fourth largest in Europe. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat with few hills, and its highest point, the Halti at 1,324 metres, is found in the extreme north of Lapland at the border between Finland and Norway. The landscape is covered mostly (seventy-five percent of land area) by coniferous taiga forests and fens, with little arable land. The most common type of rock is granite. It is a ubiquitous part of the scenery, visible wherever there is no soil cover. Moraine or till is the most common type of soil, covered by a thin layer of humus of biological origin. Podzol profile development is seen in most forest soils except where drainage is poor. Gleysols and peat bogs occupy poorly drained areas. The greater part of the islands are found in the southwest in the Archipelago Sea, part of the archipelago of the Åland Islands, and along the southern coast in the Gulf of Finland. Finland is one of the few countries in the world whose surface area is still expanding. Owing to the post-glacial rebound that has been taking place since the last ice age, the surface area of the country is expanding by about 7 square kilometres (2.7 square miles) a year. The distance from the southernmost – Hanko – to the northernmost point in the country – Nuorgam – is 1,445 kilometres (898 miles) in driving distance, which would take approximately 18.5 hours to drive. The distance is comparable to that in Great Britain (Land’s End to John o’ Groats – 1,404 kilometres (872 miles) and 16.5 h).

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