Baltic Fund for Nature

Soils of the Lake Ladoga western shore

Region I - ridge-hollow type dominated by podzolic sandy loam and pseudoglay loam soils. Most of the farmland concentrate here. Ridges 15 to 60 m high are composed mainly of granites. Slopes of the selka ridges are covered with thin, coarse-textured moraine deposits. Varved clays cover the bottom of depressions between the ridges, where water accumulates.

Not much of the territory is reclaimed: arable lands are only 3%. Composite soil cover, heavily differentiated topography, large boulder-covered areas limit the choice and size of agricultural lands. The latter were mainly established in flatter areas - lakeside hollows and terraces separated from each other by forested areas. Soil productivity is rather low. Due to failures in the drainage network the agricultural lands are getting reoccupied by swamps.

The soil cover on the selka ridge tops is represented by peaty lithogenic soils and podburs. Primitive soils are noted for acidity and high content of raw humus. Eluvial processes in podburs are little developed.

Genetically affiliated to podburs are podzolic alfehumus soils occupying the lower sections of the slopes and developing on moraine deposits. Their distinctive feature is the presence of the podzolic horizon. Soil formation in depressions between selka ridges proceeds on varved clays. Pseudogleyic and gley soils with lower acidity and higher humus content develop here.

Region II is dominated by poorly-differentiated lacustrine terrace plains with sandy podzol Fe-illuvial soils and a complex of swamped soils. Infrequent ploughed fields and leas occupy low humic dry, often boldery soils, where pine stands used to grow.

Infrequent ploughed fields occupy low humic soils, where pine stands used to grow. The nature of sandy podzolic soils requires a specific system of farming, with the application of large amounts of organic fertilisers, green manure and lime.

Typical topography of lacustrine terraces is the alternation of ridges and hollows, slightly above the sea level. Soil forming rocks are medium and fine-grained sands. The terrace closest to the shore is under immature soils with various degrees of gleization. Immature Fe-illuvial soils are found on the flat slope of the shore ridge.

The second lacustrine terrace is composed of peaty podzolic gley, peaty-glayed and swamped Fe-illuvial soils. On the third terrace, where groundwater occurs at considerable depths, weak-medium Fe-illuvial podzolic and minimal podzolic Fe-illuvial soils form.

Region III (bog area) is noted for the wide distribution of peat bogs, swamped soils and peaty sand podzols. The reclamation degree is low.

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