FINLAND (Finnish, Suomi or Suomenmaa), a grand-duchy governed subject to its own constitution by the emperor of Russia as grand-duke of Finland. It is situated between the gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, and includes, moreover, a large territory in Lapland. It touches at its south-eastern extremity the government of St Petersburg, includes the northern half of Lake Ladoga, and is separated from the Russian governments of Arkhangelsk and Olonets by a sinuous line which follows, roughly speaking, the water-parting between the rivers flowing into the Baltic Sea and the White Sea. In the north of the Gulf of Bothnia it is separated from Sweden and Norway by a broken line which takes the course of the valley of the Torneå river up to its sources, thus falling only 21 m. short of reaching the head of Norwegian Lyngen-fjord; then it runs south-east and north-east down the Tana and Pasis-joki, but does not reach the Artic Ocean, and 13 m. from the Varanger-fjord it turns southwards. Finland includes in the south-west the Åland archipelago—its frontier approaching within 8 m. from the Swedish coast—as well as the islands of the Gulf of Finland, Hogland, Tytärs, &c. Its utmost limits are: 59° 48'—70° 6' N., and 19° 2'—32° 50' E. The area of Finland, in square miles, is as follows (Altas de Finlande, 1899):—
Orography.—A line drawn from the head of the Gulf of Bothnia to the eastern coast of Lake Ladoga divides Finland into two distinct parts, the lake region and the nearly uninhabited hilly tracts belonging to the Kjölen mountains, to the plateau of the Kola peninsula, and to the slopes of the plateau which separates Finland proper from the White Sea. At the head-waters of the Torneå, Finland penetrates as a narrow strip into the heart of the highlands of Kjölen (the Keel), where the Haldefjäll (Lappish, Halditjokko) reaches 4115 ft. above the sea, and is surrounded by other fjälls, or flat-topped summits, of from 3300 to 3750 ft. of altitude. Extensive plateaus (1500-1750 ft.), into which Lake Enare, or Inari, and the valleys of its tributaries are deeply sunk, and which take the character of a mountain region in the Saariselkä (highest summit, 2360 ft.), occupy the remainder of Lapland. Along the eastern border the dreary plateaus of Olonets reach on Finnish territory altitudes of from 700 to 1000 ft. Quite different is the character of the pentagonal space comprised between the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, Lake Ladoga, and the above-mentioned line traced through the lakes Uleå and Piellis. The meridional ridges which formerly used to be traced here along the main water-partings do not exist in reality, and the country appears on the hypsometrical map in the Atlas de Finlande as a plateau of 350 ft. of average altitude, covered with countless lakes, lying at altitudes of from 250 to 300 ft. The three main lake-basins of Näsi-järvi, Päjäne and Saima are separated by low and flat hills only; but one sees distinctly appearing on the map a line of flat elevations running south-west to north-east along the north-west border of the lake regions from Lauhanvuori to Kajana, and reaching from 650 to 825 ft. of altitude. A regular gentle slope leads from these hills to the Gulf of Bothnia (Osterbotten), forming vast prairie tracts in its lower parts.
A notable feature of Finland are the åsar or narrow ridges of morainic deposits, more or less reassorted on their surfaces. Some of them are relics of the longitudinal moraines of the ice-sheet, and they run north-west to south-east, parallel to the striation of the rocks and to the countless parallel troughs excavated by the ice in the hard rocks in the same direction; while the Lojo ås, which runs from Hangöudd to Vesi-järvi, and is continued farther east under the name of Salpauselliä, parallel to the shore of the Gulf of Finland, are remainders of the frontal moraines, formed at a period when the ice-sheet remained for some time stationary during its retreat. As a rule these forest-clothed åsar rise from 30 to 60 and occasionally 120 ft. above the level of the surrounding country, largely adding to the already great picturesqueness of the lake region; railways are traced in preference along them.
Lakes and Rivers.—A labyrinth of lakes, covering 11% of the aggregate territory, and connected by short and rapid streams (fjården), covers the surface of South Finland, offering great facilities
for internal navigation, while the connecting streams supply an enormous amount of motive-power. The chief lakes are: Lake Ladoga, of which the northern half belongs to Finland; Saima (three and a half times larger than Lake Leman), whose outlet, the Vuoksen, flows into Lake Ladoga, forming the mighty Imatra rapids, while the lake itself is connected by means of a sluiced canal with the Gulf of Finland; the basins of Pyhä-selkä, Ori-vesi and Piellis-järvi; Päjäne, surrounded by hundreds of smaller lakes, and the waters of which are discharged into the lower gulf through the Kymmene river; Näsi-järvi and Pyhä-järvi, whose outflow is the Kumo-elf, flowing into the Gulf of Bothnia; Uleå-träsk, discharged by the Uleå into the same gulf; and Enare, belonging to the basin of the Arctic Ocean. Two large rivers, Kemi and Torneå, enter the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, while the Uleå is now navigable throughout, owing to improvements in its channel.
Geology.—Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous deposits are found on the coasts of the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, and also along the coasts of the Arctic Ocean (probably Devonian), and in the Kjölen. Eruptive rocks of Palaeozoic age are met with in the Kola peninsula (nepheline-syenites) and at Kuusamo (syenite). The remainder of Finland is built up of the oldest known crystalline rocks belonging to the Archaeozoic or Algonkian period. The most ancient of these seem to be the granites of East Finland. The denudation and destruction of the granites gave rise to the Ladoga schists and various deposits of the same period, which were subsequently strongly folded. Then the country came once more under the sea, and the debris of the previous formations, mixed with fragments from the volcanoes then situated in West Finland, formed the so-called Bothnian series. New masses of granites protruded next from underneath, and the Bothnian deposits underwent foldings in their turn, while denudation was again at work on a grand scale. A new series of Jatulian deposits was formed and a new system of foldings followed; but these were the last in this part of the globe. The Jotnian series, which were formed next, remain still undisturbed. It is to this series that the well-known Rapakivi granite of Åland, Nystad and Viborg belongs; No marine deposits younger than those just mentioned—all belonging to a pre-Cambrian epoch—are found in the central portion of Finland; and the greater part of the country has probably been dry land since Palaeozoic times. The whole of Finland is covered with Glacial and post-Glacial deposits. The former of these, representing the bottom moraine of the ice-sheet, are covered with Glacial and post-Glacial Clays (partly of lacustrine and partly of marine origin) only in the peripheral coast-region—or in separate areas in the interior depressions. Some Finnish geologists—Sederholm for one—consider it probable that during the Glacial period an Arctic sea (Yoldia sea) covered all southern Finland and also Scania (Skåne) in Sweden. thus connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Baltic and the White Sea by a broad channel; but no fossils from that sea have been found anywhere in Finland. Conclusive proofs, however, of a later submergence under a post-Glacial Littorina sea (containing shells now living in the Baltic) are found up to 150 ft. along the Gulf of Finland, and up to 260, or perhaps 330 ft., in Osterbotten. Traces of a large inner post-Glacial lake, similar to Lake Agassiz of North America, have been discovered. The country is still continuing to rise, but at an unequal rate; of nearly 3.3 ft. in a century in the Gulf of Bothnia (Kvarken), from 1.4 to 2 ft. in the south, and nearly zero in the Baltic provinces.
Climate.—Owing to the prevalence of moist west and south-west winds the climate of Finland is less severe than it is farther east in corresponding latitudes. The country lies thus between the annual isotherms of 41° and 28° Fahr., which run in a W.N.W.-E.S.E. direction. In January the average monthly temperature varies from 9° Fahr. about Lake Enare to 30° along the south coast; while in July the difference between the monthly averages is only eight degrees, being 53° in the north and 61° in the south-east. Everywhere, and especially in the interior, the winter lasts very long, and early frosts (June 12-14 in 1892) often destroy the crops. The amount of rain and snow is from 25½ in. along the south coast to 13.8 in. in the interior of southern Finland.
Flora, Forests, Fauna.—The flora of Finland has been most minutely explored, especially in the south, and the Finnish botanists were enabled to divide the country into twenty-eight different provinces, giving the numbers of phanerogam species for each province. These numbers vary from 318 to 400 species in Lapland, from 508 to 651 in Karelia, and attain 752 species for Finland proper; while the total for all Finland attains 1132 species. Alpine plants are not met with in Finland proper, but are represented by from 32 to 64 species in the Kola peninsula. The chief forest trees of Finland are the Scotch fir (Pinus sylvestris, L.), the fir (Picea excelsa, Link.); two species of birch (B. verrucosa, Ehrh., and B. odorata, Bechst.), as well as the birch-bush (B. nana); two species of Alnus (glutinosa and incana); the oak (Q. pedunculata, Ehrh.), which grows only on the south coast; the poplar (Populus tremula); and the Siberian larch, introduced in culture in the 18th century. Over 6,000,000 trees are cut every year to be floated to thirty large saw-mills, and
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