Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird


  • Jouko Alestalo
  • Olavi Granö
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_101


The coast of Finland is a mosaic of headlands, islands, bays and straits. There are about 73,000 islands, of which 52,000 are less than 1 ha in area and only 15 exceed 50 km2. Measured on the 1:10,000 map the coastline is 47,518 km long (Granö 2007), varying in width from about 120 km in the southwest (the Åland archipelago) to less than 5 km along the Gulf of Bothnia. About 41.9% of the shoreline is rocky, 41.6% is composed of glacial drift, 10.4% silt, clay and marshes, 4.8% sand and gravel, and 1.3% artificial (Granö et al. 1999).

The islands are of three kinds: rocky, especially in the south and southwest, where they are often encircled by glacial drift partly covered with silt and clay; morainic on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia and eskers, with sand and gravel partly covered by silt and clay. These are often in sequence, the outer islands being rocky or boulder moraine and those further landward having a mantle of glacial drift, overlain in the innermost zone by a...


Significant Wave Height Rocky Shore Southwest Coast Southwesterly Wind Land Uplift 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jouko Alestalo
    • 1
  • Olavi Granö
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Oulu Finland
  2. 2.University of Turku Finland