General information about Finland
The official name is the Republic of Finland (Suomen Tasavalta). It is located in northern Europe in the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The area is 337 thousand km2 (about 1/3 of it is beyond the Arctic Circle), 9.4% is inland waters, mainly lakes. The population is 5.16 million people. (2002). The official languages are Finnish and Swedish. The capital is Helsinki (500 thousand people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day December 6 (since 1917). The monetary unit is the euro (since 2002, before that the Finnish mark).
Member of the UN (since 1955), the Nordic Council (since 1955), the EU (since 1995), etc.
Geography of Finland
According to Allcitycodes, Finland (Finnish Suomi or Saomeumaa – country of lakes or swamps) is located between 70° 5′ 30” and 59° 30′ 10” north latitude and 20° 33′ 27” and 31° 35′ 20” east longitude. In the south and west, the shores are washed by the waters of the Baltic Sea, its bays – Finnish and Bothnian. The length of the coastline (excluding sinuosity) is 1100 km. It borders in the east with the Russian Federation (the length of the borders is 1269 km), in the north-west with Sweden (586 km) and in the north with Norway (716 km).
The landscape of the country is strongly leveled, the relief is flat. The shores of the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia are predominantly low-lying, strongly dissected by numerous small bays and abound in skerries, especially in the south and southwest. St. 1/3 of the territory below sea level by 100 m, St. 2/3 – lower by 200 m. The central part – the Lake Plateau – is bounded by the Salpausselkya ridges, the Suomenselkya Upland, and from the east by the Karelian Upland. Uplands (height 400-600 m) are concentrated in Lapland, the largest is Manselkya. In the northwest is a small section of the Scandinavian Highlands (altitude up to 1328 m – Mount Haltiatunturi).
There is a dense network of short but full-flowing rivers (Kemi-Yoki, Kyumi-Yoki, Kokemäen-Yoki, Tornio-Yoki) with numerous rapids and waterfalls (including Imatra on the Vuoksa River). Rivers are fed by rain and snow, and their runoff is often regulated by lakes. Flood in late spring and summer, occasional rain floods in autumn. Lakes (55-75 thousand) are often elongated in the direction of movement of ancient glaciers – from northwest to southeast, winding shores, dotted with numerous islands, interconnected by channels and form large lake systems, incl. Saimaa (area 4.4 thousand km2), Päijänne, Inari, Oulujärvi. Rivers and lakes are covered with ice for 5-7 months, in summer – timber rafting.
The soils are mainly podzolic, alternating with peat-bog, also sod-podzolic, in the north – mountain-forest podzolic. St. 1/3 of the territory is swampy. A high degree of moisture and the presence of glacial boulders hinder agricultural use and require extensive land reclamation. Forests – 87.3% of the territory, mainly of the taiga type (pine, spruce, birch), in the south and southwest with an admixture of broad-leaved species.
Most of the fauna belongs to the Palearctic zone, which is also characteristic of the north-west of the Russian Federation: large predatory animals (wolf, wolverine, lynx, bear) and birds (golden eagle, white-tailed eagle). Found in forests ca. 70 species of mammals: elk, fox, squirrel, ermine. Birds are represented by 350 species: crow, magpie, cuckoo, thrush, woodpecker, bullfinch, black grouse. In the waters of rivers and lakes there are 36 species of fish (salmon, trout, whitefish, perch, pike, pike perch). There are 30 more species of fish in the Baltic Sea: herring, flounder, cod and smelt. Gray seals are found near the coast.
Minerals are associated with the main rocks – quartzites and shales in fault zones. In terms of reserves of chromites, vanadium and cobalt – 1st place in Western Europe, titanium and nickel – 2nd, copper and pyrite – 3rd. Deposits of copper-sulfide (Outokumpu, Luikonlahti, Pyhyasalmi and Hammaslahti), copper-nickel (Vuonos, Kotalahti, Stromi, Hitura, Nivala), polymetallic (Vihanti) ores. There are also deposits of apatite, graphite, magnesite, asbestos, talc, marble, granite and peat.
The climate is temperate, transitional from maritime to continental, and continental in the north. The Baltic Sea and the proximity of the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic have a mitigating effect on it. Winter is long, frosty, with strong winds and plenty of snow; summer is relatively warm, but short. The average temperature in February (the coldest month – maximum -30°C) is -3-6°C in the north and south-west, -12-14°C in the north. The average temperature in July (the warmest month – maximum + 35°C) + 13-17°C in the south and + 14-15°C in the north. Annual precipitation is 600-650 mm, 1/3 falls in winter. In spring, the snow cover does not disappear until April. In summer, white nights can be observed almost throughout the entire territory; on the west coast, the water heats up to +20°C. Fog is frequent in the coastal regions of the country.