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Trip nr 2

Oil-shale mining and industry heritage

Narva open cast oil shale quarry. Photo: Andres Kiviste
Narva open cast oil shale quarry
Photo: Andres Kiviste

Tour guides:

 

     Kalev Sepp, Estonian University of Life Sciences

     Andres Kiviste, Estonian University of Life Sciences

     Sandra Metslaid, Estonian University of Life Sciences

 

This trip takes us from Tartu along the coast of Lake Peipsi to the north-eastern part of Estonia; the region is best known for oil-shale mining and industry, which are unfortunately causing considerable environmental problems. However, the same region is also rich in forests and wetlands.

 

We visit Viivikonna oil-shale quarry where oil-shale mine has been closed and the landscape is undergoing restoration process. A large-scale long-term monitoring (since 1978) and evaluation study of an afforested oil-shale quarry will be explained and explored. 

50 years old Scots pine plantation on abandoned open cast oil shale quarry
 
Photo: Andres Kiviste
50 years old Scots pine plantation on abandoned open cast oil shale quarry   Photo: Andres Kiviste

We pay a visit to three forest growth experiment sites in the quarry: those of the comparison of the growth of European and Japanese larch, monitoring of the growth of Norway spruce and Scots pine.

 

We visit the towns of Sillamäe and Jõhvi. Sillamäe is a small industrial enclave planned in the Stalin era, it is a good example of an ideal of a Soviet city back in the 1950s. On the way back we visit the Pühtitsa Convent at Kuremäe. The Convent was established in 1891 and is the only operating Russian Orthodox nunnery in Estonia, its community still includes more than 100 nuns.

 

Total length of the bus trip is ca 350 km.

 

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/cWGEc 

Sillamäe city centre (architectural style of the late 1940s)
Sillamäe city centre (architectural style of the late 1940s)
Photo: Ingvar Pärnamäe
Pühtitsa Convent at Kuremäe 
Pühtitsa Convent at Kuremäe 
Photo: Kaiti Lillipuu