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Formation of the Khibiny relief

The first stage is a preglacial period when the main tectonic divisions were formed. The second stage is a glacial period with the Khibiny and Lovozero rock massif and Zaimandrovskaya tundra in its center. The last glaciation happened about 100 thousand years ago that was called Valdayskoye and have two stages. During the first one the Khibiny mountains sank under the glacier completely. The evidence of this theory is boulders found in the mountains tops. Second stage of glacier period was characterized by ice filling of the rock massif till watersheds and peaks that were raised above the glacier layer as nunataks. Nunataks are mountain hills and rocky mountain tops raising above the glacier cover.

Formation of the Khibiny relief

Apogee of the Valdayskoye glacial period was 20 thousand years ago. The further development of the events during 10 thousand years resulted in glacier layer reducing and its final disappearance. Residual effects are moraine deposits being the natural dams for Maly and Bol'shoi Vudjavr lakes due to its large size. That's why the great part of Kirovsk town is located on moraine complex.

The third stage of the Khibiny massif relief formation is a postglacial period which lasts till nowadays. This period is characterized by modern processes of relief formation, tectonic uplifting and glacial formations in kars and circuses. Present layer of ice in the Khibiny is small enough as it occupies area of 0.1 square kilometer and contains only 4 places of its formation. Present glaciers are passive as is evidenced by deposits at its edge and gradually reducing.

At this period the block movement of the rockmass took place that is different against the uplifting of the whole Kola peninsula. Specialists of Apatity seismic station observing the tectonic movements of the Khibiny confirm the block movements with velocity at average of 0.3-1.2 millimeter per year.

Currently the following processes have influence on the Khibiny massif relief formation:

• physical weathering and chemical rock destruction

• sloughing and rock falls

• avalanches, mudflows and wet snow flows

• rock fallouts by river flows and streams

• boulder stream formation and soilfluction - slow movement of large soil masses

Snow avalanches focus are concentrated at 25 percent of the entire territory of the Khibiny massif that is why they are hazardous for mountain-climbers and holiday-makers.

During the human life the relief is changing insignificantly but these small changes should be considered during planning of economical activities. So, rock slides along the slopes, rock falls happen and snow avalanches occur, rivers deepen the gorges, streams cut the ravines, lakes and seas wash in beaches, small lake pits are overgrown, became boggy and filled with peat. Considering all this, advisedly and knowingly using of these peculiarities we can make the relief our ally and kind helper. At current development of road and construction machinery all challenges related to relief is easy to overcome. Inconsiderate economic activity often has irreversible, destroying impact on environment. Man-made relief forms can be found in the Khibiny: large, deep of 200-300 meters and more open-pits, mining-induced waste stockpiles, tailings. All this has a destructive impact on human living environment.

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