A glacier in Helsinki?

Whilst on holiday in Finland last year we visited an Island not far from the centre of Helsinki and found some interesting things to look at…

Example of striations near Helsinki
Example of glacial striations near Helsinki

The linear features here are called striations and have been gouged into this rock. They are caused by the movement of a glacier over the bedrock, through the process of abrasion. Abrasion is a term used to describe when fragments of rock captured by a moving glacier are pressed onto the surface of the underlying rock. As the glacier drags these rock fragments along lines are scraped into the rock. Striations are a common feature of glaciated landscapes and are just one of many features glaciers can produce.

Striations such as these along with other glacial landforms can help us to reconstruct the dynamics of past glaciers, and help us understand more about modern glaciers. The presence of glacial landforms where we no longer have glaciers (such as here in Helsinki) demonstrates how the environment can change over time.

If you find glacial landscapes interesting you may find Rock Paper Glacier! blog to be of interest.

This example near Helskinki really does show us that even in built up areas we can still observe the influence of the forces that shaped the landscape around us!

Geography of Finland Wikipedia Page


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