Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, iss. Special Issue Part 1

Evolution of aeolian landscapes in north-eastern Estonia under environmental changes

Anto Raukas

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, iss. Special Issue Part 1, pp. 117-126 | Full text

Evolution of dunes and other aeolian landforms is characterized by phases of sand drift,alternated with geomorphic stability. Formation of wind-blown landforms in Estonia is stronglycontrolled by land uplift, climate, parent deposits, re-advance of ice-dammed lakes, as well asthe Baltic Sea and Lake Peipsi water level changes. Different aeolian formations, such as coversandhillocks, blowouts, deflation hollows, foredunes, inland and coastal dunes, and wind-erodedplains are encountered. Forest cuttings and fires, military actions and other human activities triggeredthe movement of surficial sand, but wet environmental conditions, sparse population andrapid spreading of vegetation prevented extensive redistribution of loose sandy sediments by wind.In north-eastern Estonia, inland parabolic and transversal dunes were formed in severe climaticconditions of the Younger Dryas. Influence of climate is well seen also at the northern coast of LakePeipsi, where rhythmically changing water level has caused aeolian redistribution of sediments.

Keywords: aeolian landforms, palaeoclimate, neotectonic uplift, inland and coastal dunes, Lake Peipsi, Estonia

Anto Raukas, Institute of Ecology at Tallinn University, Uus-Sadama 5, Tallinn 10120, Estonia