The territory of Karelia is located in the eastern part of a huge geologic structure - Fennoscandinavian (Baltic) crystalline shield. The main features of the relief of Karelia were formed during a preglacial period. On the surface of the planet under a continuous effect of inner forces mountains were created and destroyed, huge massifs, which formed a plain of ancient crystalline rocks - granites, quartzites, gneisses and shales, were carried. A special character to the relief of the territory was given by vertical motions of the earth crust. The territory of the region, which after billions of years was called Karelia, was intercepted by large breaks, which are seen even nowadays and are oriented from the northwest to the southeast. River valleys and lake basins were layed in these breaks.

The final formation of the surface took place during a glacial period. The most powerful glaciers approached and then stepped back. The last one of them left the territory approximately 12 thousand years ago.

Concerning the geology, Karelia represents a unique sample of a geologic history of the planet: here one can find "mutton foreheads" smoothed by the glacier and curly rocks, kames (hills of a detrital rocks), oses - sand ranges up to 40 meters high. In Karelia we have low plains, formed of marine and lake sediments, which are located at the altitude of 50-100 m above the sea level, low smoothed mountains (up to 230 m) and, at last, rather large eminences. The highest points are in the west of the republic - Nuorunen and Vottovaara mountains.

The material traces of grandiose geologic catastrophes, which have been preserved until now,  are easy to see and are unique in their history and origin. These are, for example, the most ancient in Europe , cape Kintsiniemi, crimson gritstone field etc.

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