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Baltic Shield

Baltic Shield, the continental core of Europe, composed of Precambrian crystalline rock, the oldest of Europe. The tectonically stable region was not affected by the Caledonian, Hercynian, and Alpine mountain-building periods of Europe, although mountains did rise along the edges. The exposed portion of the Baltic Shield is found in Finland, Sweden, and Norway. During the Pleistocene epoch, great continental ice sheets scoured and depressed the shield's surface, leaving a thin covering of glacial material and innumerable lakes and streams. The ancient rocks have yielded a rich variety of minerals, especially iron and copper. In W former USSR the Russian Platform is that portion of the Baltic Shield buried beneath a great thickness of sedimentary rock.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a geographical region in Europe that includes the Scandinavian Peninsula (Sweden and Norway), Finland, the Kola Peninsula, and the part of USSR northwest of a line running from the Gulf of Finland through Lakes Ladoga and Onega to Onega Bay, on the White Sea. Area, approximately 1.5 million sq km (including 400,000 sq km in the USSR). Population, more than 18 million (1973). Fennoscandia includes the Baltic Shield and, in the west and northwest, the Caledonian folded structures of the Scandinavian Mountains. The topography is dominated by strongly peneplained medium-elevation uplands (elevations to 2,469 m—-Galdhøpiggen in the Scandinavian Mountains) and plateaus. The Khibiny massif, with elevations to 1,191 m, rises in the northeast.

There are broad, denuded plains in the areas of Fennoscandia adjacent to the Baltic Sea. The ice sheet that existed during the Pleistocene epoch, whose center was in the northwestern part of Fennoscandia, played a large part in shaping the region’s topography; glacial landforms, such as moraine ridges and coasts with fjords and skerries, are widespread. Glaciers exist today in the Scandinavian Mountains, and there are pockets of glaciation in the Khibiny massif as well.

The climate over most of Fennoscandia is temperate (marine in the west, more continental in the east) with cool summers and significant amounts of precipitation (up to 2,000–3,000 mm on the western slopes of the Scandinavian Mountains). Precipitation everywhere exceeds the rate of evaporation, hence the many lakes and marshes and the high discharge of the rapid-flowing rivers. More than half of Fennoscandia is covered by forests. North of 60° N lat. there are spruce and pine taigas on podzolic soils; the areas south of this line have mixed and, in some places, broadleaved forests on sod-podzolic soils. Tundras occur in the Far North, and heaths are typical of the western slopes of the Scandinavian Mountains.

Fennoscandia has large deposits of iron ore (Kiruna in Sweden, Kirkenes in Norway), copper-nickel ores (Monchegorsk and Pechenga Raion in the USSR), apatites (Khibiny in the USSR), chromites (Kemi in Finland), and complex ores (Boliden in Sweden).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The performance of the geopotential models is examined in the region, which includes Fennoscandia, the Baltic Sea and its coastal areas (Fig.
Years with large temperature anomalies in the Tornetr[ddot{a}]sk area appear to coincide with warm summers in boreal Fennoscandia (Briffa et al .
In Fennoscandia (Norway, Sweden and Finland), the last individual disappeared from Finland in 1868 (Lahti & Helminen 1974) and from Sweden in the early 1870s (Hartman 2011).
Sjoberg, L.E.: 1983, Land uplift and its implications on the geoid in Fennoscandia, Tectonophysics, 97, Issues 1-4, 97-101.
Giesecke & Bennett (2004) divided the migration of spruce into Fennoscandia into two phases: (1) rapid spreading in the early Holocene with the low population density giving rise to small outpost populations and (2) spreading as a front in the mid- to late Holocene.
Much later, about 10,000 years ago when the southern part of Scandinavia was free of ice, European moose with red deer (Cervus elaphus) and wisent (Bison bonasus) found their way from West Europe to Fennoscandia using Denmark as a land bridge (Filonov 1983), and later dispersed from the east through the Karelian Isthmus.
Of the 90 species he treats, 73 have been found in Denmark and Fennoscandia and the remaining 17 could be found there any day.
multilocularis appears to be frequent and widespread in Estonia, which poses a risk for putatively parasite-free adjacent countries in Fennoscandia.
The Formicidac (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark.
253, reviewer's translation): "Whereas older scenarios saw the Dnieper-Donets Complex as the more or less exclusive point of origin for pottery development, from which various strands of development spread out into the East Baltic as well as north-western Russia and Fennoscandia, now the significance of the Middle Volga and Volga-Kama region can be underlined as a starting point of early ceramic traditions.
However, within the last 30 years, the contraction of the Arctic fox's range has been extensive enough in the subarctic alpine tundra in Fennoscandia to prompt concern (Hersteinsson et al., 1989; Tannerfeldt et ah, 2002; Frafjord, 2003; Herfindal et al., 2010) and to instigate an analysis of the geographical changes across Arctic Canada (Hersteinsson and Macdonald, 1992; Gallant et al., 2012).