1 December 2002 Land cover types and ecological conditions of the Estonian coast
Üllas Ehrlich, Peep Krusberg, Kalju Habicht
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Detailed analysis of the land cover of the Estonian coastal zone is presented based on Estonian laws on coastal zone management, the CORINE Land Cover (CLC) system, the status of protected areas, and administrative division data of Estonia. By law the coastal zone is defined as a 200-m wide zone landward from the mean sea level line. The length of the Estonian coastline (including the islands) is 3794 km. The 200-m zone of the Estonian coast is very diverse. Out of the 34 CORINE land cover types represented in Estonia 30 are found in the coastal zone. Three dominating land cover types in the coastal zone of Estonia are inland marshes, coniferous forest and semi-natural grassland. Their total share is 47%; the other 27 land cover types represented here cover 53% of the coastal zone. The Estonian coastal zone is generally in a good natural condition. The proportion of artificial surfaces throughout the zone is merely 4.7%, while agricultural landscapes cover only ca. 10%. Land cover data for the coastal zone are also presented by county. Of the 200-m coastal zone 24% is under protection, which is more than twice the value for Estonia as a whole (11%). Legislative protection of the coastal zone is presently satisfactory. The use of the CORINE Land Cover system enables comparisons with other European regions since CLC data have been compiled for most of Europe.


  • CLC = CORINE Land Cover

Üllas Ehrlich, Peep Krusberg, and Kalju Habicht "Land cover types and ecological conditions of the Estonian coast," Journal of Coastal Conservation 8(2), 109-117, (1 December 2002). https://doi.org/10.1652/1400-0350(2002)008[0109:LCTAEC]2.0.CO;2
Received: 30 January 2002; Accepted: 19 December 2002; Published: 1 December 2002

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coastal zone
CORINE Land Cover
Geo Information System
Nature protection
protected area
remote sensing
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