chapter  4
The Baltic States
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
WithHannes Tõnisson, Kaarel Orviku, Jānis Lapinskis, Saulius Gulbinskas, Rimas Žaromskis
Pages 34

The three Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - are among the smallest countries in Europe, but the shoreline length is remarkable - approximately 4,500 km. Due to their geographical location between major geological structures, the Fennoscandian Shield and East European Platform, they are rich in different shore types and valuable coastal ecosystems. Coastal erosion in Lithuania has been severely aggravated by human intervention such as construction of hydro-technical works, deepening of the Klaipeda harbour and recreational activities. The Baltic klint becomes higher and westwards is located closer to this coastline type. The Baltic Sea is a relatively shallow water body and its small dimension restricts wave size and reduces the erosion risk to shores. Major damage takes place during extreme events once or twice a century. In the Baltic Sea and, the Gulf of Riga, sea level changes are mainly caused by wind pressure.