Finland Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Finland?

Overview:

Finland, the sixth largest country in Europe, occupies an area of 338,312 sq km (130,622 square miles) — about twice the size of the United Kingdom. Its coastline, excluding indentations, is 1,100 kilometers long. Finland is bordered on the east and southeast by the Russian Federation, on the west by Sweden and the Gulf of Bothnia, on the north by Norway and on the south by the Gulf of Finland. Most of the country is low but not necessarily flat. Because the soil (mainly moraine deposits from ice age glaciers) is very thin the topography reflects the contours of the Archean bedrock. Elevations greater than 640 meters (2,100 ft) are found along the northwestern frontier with Norway, and in the extreme northern region of Lapland. Most of Finland’s 60,000 lakes, comprising 10% of the total area, lie in the southern half of the country and provide important waterways and log floating routes. An extensive and imposing archipelago, reaching from the Russian border on the south, westward to the Aland Islands and there northward, provides an important fishing and vacation area known for its magnitude and grandeur.

Another impressive physical feature and natural resource of Finland is its forests which cover 65% of the land area (the highest percentage in Europe). The forests of Finland are mainly coniferous; a limited area in the south and southwest contains hardwood deciduous trees. In Lapland, the spruce and pines disappear and dwarf birch usually forms the timberline.

Geography - note:

long boundary with Russia; Helsinki is northernmost national capital on European continent; population concentrated on small southwestern coastal plain

Climate:

Virtually all of Finland lies between latitudes 60°N and 70°N, but the Gulf Stream and the prevalence of warm westerly winds make the climate several degrees warmer than elsewhere at the same latitude. Summers are short and mild, and the days are long. In June and July only a 2-3 hour period of twilight separates sunset from sunrise. In the extreme north the sun does not set for 73 days during the mid-summer period. Precipitation, averaging 63cm (25 inches) annually, is distributed over all seasons. Winters are long and cold. Snow is possible from October through April, with January through March having the heaviest accumulations. Temperatures may vary from north to south, as does the snow coverage from one winter to the next.


Despite Helsinki’s location on the Gulf of Finland, the humidity is low. The city’s average temperature is +5°C (42°F). February and July mean temperatures are -5°C (23°F) and +17°C (63°F) respectively. Average temperatures in Lapland are -12°C (10°F) in January and +17°C (63°F) in July.

Finland Use of Natural Resources

Finland Environment

Climate:

Virtually all of Finland lies between latitudes 60°N and 70°N, but the Gulf Stream and the prevalence of warm westerly winds make the climate several degrees warmer than elsewhere at the same latitude. Summers are short and mild, and the days are long. In June and July only a 2-3 hour period of twilight separates sunset from sunrise. In the extreme north the sun does not set for 73 days during the mid-summer period. Precipitation, averaging 63cm (25 inches) annually, is distributed over all seasons. Winters are long and cold. Snow is possible from October through April, with January through March having the heaviest accumulations. Temperatures may vary from north to south, as does the snow coverage from one winter to the next.


Despite Helsinki’s location on the Gulf of Finland, the humidity is low. The city’s average temperature is +5°C (42°F). February and July mean temperatures are -5°C (23°F) and +17°C (63°F) respectively. Average temperatures in Lapland are -12°C (10°F) in January and +17°C (63°F) in July.

Terrain:

mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills

Natural Resources:

timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone

Natural Hazards:

NA

Irrigated Land:

265 Square Miles
686 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

air pollution from manufacturing and power plants contributing to acid rain; water pollution from industrial wastes, agricultural chemicals; habitat loss threatens wildlife populations

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Finland Geography

Geographic Location Europe
Total Area 130,558 Square Miles
338,145 Square Kilometers
Land Area 117,303 Square Miles
303,815 Square Kilometers
Water Area 13,255 Square Miles
34,330 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,649 Miles
2,654 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 265 Square Miles
686 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Norway 729 km, Sweden 586 km, Russia 1,313 km
Coastline 777 Miles
1,250 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 64 00 N, 26 00 E
Terrain mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills
Highest Point 1,328 Meters
Highest Point Location Halti 1,328 m
Lowest Point Location Baltic Sea 0 m
Natural Resources timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone
Time Zone UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
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