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Fennoscandia,region: see Baltic ShieldBaltic 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
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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).
R. A. ERAMOV