Harju-Viru limestone plateau

The Harju plateau, the Pandivere Upland and the Viru plateau can be considered as the more or less geologically uniform Harju-Viru limestone plateau. It is an exposure area of Ordovician and Silurian limestones.

The most important watershed in the Estonian territory is situated in the northern part of the plateau, Pandivere Upland. The bedrock of the northern part of the plateau consists mainly of the Ordovician limestones that descend towards the klint. In the Klint wall and in the river valleys cutting the limestone plateau near the Klint, Cambrian, Lower and Middle Ordovician rocks are exposed. The southern part of the plateau consists of Upper Ordovician and/or Lower Silurian limestones. The common features of this region are:

  • the important role of the bedrock, consisting of limestone, in the structure and look of landscapes, and in land use;
  • rich mineral resources in the bedrock;
  • thin Quaternary cover;
  • prevalence of thin carbonate soils and calcicolous plant communities;
  • dense population and artificial landscapes created by industrial activity.

This region includes three islands: Osmussaar Island and Suur-Pakri and Väike-Pakri islands and two isolated bedrock “islands” within the North-Estonian Coastal Plain — Toompea Hill in Tallinn and Viimsi Lubjamägi Hill.

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