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Baltic Klint

Date of Submission: 06/01/2004
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
TTU Institute of Geology E-mail: inst@gi.ee
Coordinates: Osmussaar: 23°23'36.165" E /59°17'19.922" N Udria: 27°53'29.579" E / 59°24'01.896" N
Ref.: 1852

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The North-Estonian limestone escarpment is part of a more extensive landform -the Baltic Klint. The total length of the Baltic Klint is 1100-1200 km; of that 250 km are in mainland Estonia. The limestone cliff begins from the western coast of the Island of Oland in Sweden. From the northern coast of the island it extends under the sea to the Island of Osmussaar and continues on the Pakri Islands. The mainland stretch of the klint starts on Pakri Peninsula. The klint runs through Estonia to Russia where it disappears under younger, Devonian rocks on the southern shore of Lake Ladoga. The Klint is at its highest (55.6 m a.s.l.) at Ontika in eastern Estonia. The North-Estonian Klint enables to study the rocks formed more than 500 million years ago. Starting from the Island of Osmussaar and ending in the Ida-Viru County the evolution of the Cambrian and Ordovician sea and biota may be traced during the course of about 100 million years. The escarpment exposes sedimentary rocks undamaged by tectonic processes and containing an abundance of well-preserved fossils serving as a valuable basis for compilation of Cambrian and Ordovician regional and local stratigraphical classification. Several well-known klint outcrops serve as type sections (stratotypes) where a number of stratigraphical units have been established, e.g. the Pakerort Stage on Pakri Cape (Raymond 1916), Turisalu Formation on Turisalu Cliff (Miiiirisepp 1958), Tiskre Formation on Rannamoisa Cliff (Opik 1933), Kallase and Ulgase formations at Ulgase, Toila and Pdite formations on Toila and Pdite cliffs etc. Morphologically, the North-Estonian Klint is divided into certain parts (klint bays, klint peninsulas etc.), within the escarpment several types are distinguished (Giere 1932, Tammekann 1940). Regionally, the klint is divided into four parts within which 37 smaller units are differentiated (Tammekann 1940). At the present time, the klint is subject to sea erosion on the Island of Osmussaar, Pakri Islands, Pakri Cape, at Turisalu and Udria. The rocks are penetrated by tectonic faults. Wave erosion, faults and physical weathering cause collapses in the upper monolithic limestone bed. As a result of erosion, small caves are formed in the lower part of the klint (on islands, Pakri Cape, etc.), which also contribute to down-falls. An interesting phenomenon is Turjekelder Cave in sandstone that is 18 m wide, 4 m high and 6.5 m deep. There are twelve waterfalls worthy of mention on the North Estonian Klint. Valaste, the highest of those (30 m), is located at Ontika in Ida-Virumaa.