Gulf of Finland

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Gulf of Finland
Satellite image

Satellite image

Waters Baltic Sea
Land mass Europe
Geographical location 60 °  N , 26 °  E Coordinates: 60 °  N , 26 °  E
Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea)
Gulf of Finland
surface 30,000 km²
Coastline 1 000  km
Greatest water depth 115 m
Medium water depth 38 m
Islands Gogland , Naissaar , Kotlin
Tributaries Neva , Kymijoki , Narva
Islands and cities

Islands and cities

View from Kotka in Finland to the island Gogland which is about halfway between the Gulf of Finland , Estonia and Finland is
River basins in the Gulf of Finland

The Gulf of Finland ( Estonian Soome laht ; Finnish Suomenlahti ; Russian Финский залив ; Swedish Finska viken ) is an elongated bay of the Baltic Sea that extends between Finland and Estonia in a west-east direction towards Russia . The bay is about 400 km long from the western end, which is formed roughly by the islands of Bengtskär on the Finnish and Osmussaar on the Estonian side, to the Neva estuary in the east, its width is between 50 km and 130 km. Their area is about 30,000 km². The average depth is 38 m and the maximum depth 115 m, which means that the total amount of water is only about 1100 km³, which is hardly more than that of Lake Ladoga .

There is mainly brackish water in the bay , as several water-rich rivers flow into it and the connection to the ocean via the Baltic Sea and the Danish straits Öresund , Great and Little Belts into the Kattegat hardly allows any water exchange. There is a navigable connection to the White Sea through the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal . The most important cities and ports on the Gulf of Finland are Tallinn in Estonia, Helsinki in Finland and Ust-Luga and Saint Petersburg in Russia.


If the Estonian Moonsund Islands and the islands of the Finnish Archipelago Sea does not count that lie outside the actual Gulf of Finland, there are only minor and mostly almost uninhabited islands. The only exception is the Russian island of Kotlin off Saint Petersburg with 15 km² and 43,000 inhabitants, as well as some islands in the Helsinki metropolitan area such as Lauttasaari and Kulosaari . Larger islands on the Estonian side are the Pakri Islands with 24.5 km², Naissaar with 18.6 km², Prangli with 6.44 km², Osmussaar with 4.69 km² and Aegna with 2.95 km². Finland includes Kirkonmaa with 7.9 km², Kuutsalo with 7.0 km² and Tammio with 3 km², except for Kotlin, Russia includes Gogland with 21 km², Moschtschny with 13.9 km², Maly (until 1950 Peninsaari), Bolshoi Tjuters with 8 , 3 km², Maly Tjuters with 1.6 km², Seskar with 6 km² and the small Rodscher . Only Prangli with around 150 inhabitants and Gogland with 50 inhabitants are more densely populated, on the other islands only a few people live or they are uninhabited.

Rail Baltica and possible tunnel under the Gulf of Finland

The Rail Baltica is a planned rail link which by 2030 from Warsaw via Kaunas and Riga to Tallinn to lead. The European Union and the member countries Lithuania , Latvia and Estonia as well as Poland are involved . A ferry connection to Finland is planned. The total investment is around five billion euros.

A tunnel under the Gulf of Finland has also been proposed as a vision for the 2030s or later. The length of such a tunnel would depend on the route. At the narrowest point it would have a length of around 50 km and would be the longest underwater tunnel in the world, a Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel would be around 80 km long.


The Gulf of Finland was swum through in July 2008. The Estonian Bruno Nopponen covered the 55 km route between the Finnish port of Porkkala and the Estonian coast on the Suurupi Peninsula in Harku in 19 hours and 13 minutes . Priit Vehm, who started at the same time, needed a good three hours longer at 22 hours and 22 minutes; four other participants in the record attempt gave up.

In order to protect Saint Petersburg from flooding, the Petersburg dam was built between 1978 and 2010 , with a lengthy construction interruption in the 1990s because of fear of environmental damage. The dam leads over Kotlin and blocks the entire Neva Bay from the Gulf of Finland.

Web links

Commons : Gulf of Finland  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Gulf of Finland  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Tehnical parameter. In: , accessed November 26, 2017
  2. Reinhard Wolff: By train to Helsinki. In: , June 18, 2014, accessed November 26, 2017
  3. Erik Henno, Hanneli Rudi: Bruno Nopponen ujus esimesena Soomest Eestisse. In: Postimees , July 26, 2008, accessed November 26, 2017 (Estonian)