Geotops database


Geological sites - geotops or geosites are places of particular importance to the science of geology. The importance may be in their research value, by which we may better understand the workings of Planet Earth, or in their ability to demonstrate a particular geological feature or process, thereby being of value in the training of the next generation of geologists. Meanwhile others can have a wider appeal, such as coastal sites where children can discover the delight of hunting for fossils. Geotops can be enormous, involving many tens of miles of coastline, or they may be tiny, such as a single but nevertheless important glacial erratic.
Geotops are selected by a range of organisations to fulfil a variety of purposes. The process occurs mainly at three levels. Firstly, sites may be selected at the international or world level. For example, some geological sites are recognised as World Heritage sites, while others may be recognised at the European level as European Geosites the others have the local regional value or are candidate sites.

There are many typical and unique geological objects - geotopes at the Polish Lithuanian cross-border area. There are spread on a large area, and they have more or less importance for science, culture or country recognition. The registration of an inanimate nature monuments were completed after analyzing and generalizing the information from literature, interpretation of the air photos and during cooperation with employees of the areas protected by law.

Geotopes database was initiated in Lithuania Geological Survey. The idea was developed and implemented within the common Lithuanian - Polish Belt of Yotvings project. The database comprises following information: outcrops, eskers, erratic boulders, boulder fields, hills, springs, dunes, ravines, mineral resources, mineral water resources and etc.

The most interesting for visitors and most attractive geological objects were included into the special joint Polish-Lithuanian database of geotopes. The geotopes inventory and the compilation of the database “GAJA geotopes” have been initiated since 2006 in Polish-Lithuanian cross-border teritory. The former data were revised and supplemented. At present, the joint Polish-Lithuanian database contains information on more then 137 geological (81), geomorphological (37) and hydrogeological (19) sites.

The information about geotopes includes much of all available geological, historical, archeological data, available, protection status, address, location (GPS coordinate) and pictures, that are accessible via internet. The internet addres is as follow:

 1 1) Sventasis (Sacred) spring
There is not knowlege about cross apiearence in the site near the spring. A legend tells that the water of the spring is amazing, has balneological characteristic. If blind people wash there eyes, they get see the day light, the sores recover in a short time. One time the czars solder had washed his horse which have had scabies and the water lost it amazing. However, in our days people believe that the water has balneological characteristic.
2) Jonionys stones
The Jonionys stones are made up of magmatic rocks. The boulders were transported by the continental glaciations. Paleoastronomical Society held an expedition with aim to explore the Janioniu stone group on the right bank of the Nemunas, close to the village of Janioniu. It is guessed that these stones once constituted the Moon Calendar, whose central part is the astronomical „Sun Clock“. It has survived till our days. The system vectors point to the position of the rising sun on the horizon during equinox and solstices.
 2
 Snaigupele outcrop3 Fot 3
Snaigupele outcrop
Snaigupele outcrop is locateted in the right bank of Snaigupele River upstream, 2.5 km NE of the Druskininkai town in Gailiunai village. Snaigupele River is a small left tributary of Nemunas River. The height of Snaigupele outcrop is 6 -7m and gyttja is observable.
In 1980 several borehols were driled, which cross all Quaternary thicness. The thicness of Quaternary deposits range from 60 to 180 m. The Cretaceous deposits are lowering. According to petrographical and chemical composition of Pleistocene tills seven strata (I-VII) were established.
Fot 4:
Mudriai spring
The spring is situated on the right Rausve River terrace. The surface of the terrace is wide, flat, peaty. The sprng,s water is ferrous. The old people tell a story that ox get to the bottom and was
ourwashed in to Vistytis Lake, what is situated in 25 km far from Mudriai spring.
 4
 Vištytis stone5 Fot 5:
Vištytis stone
Vistytis stone, which is third in Lithuania by size, lays by the road Kybartai- Vistytis. This big boulder of glacial origin is 7,2 meter long, 5,7 meter wide and 3,7 meter high. A big part of the stone is under ground. Strange shape of the stone reminds a devil's foot.
Local mythology states that the bowl on top of the rock never dries up, even during a drought as it is filled up because it is, "a footprint left by a devil." There is a ladder so you can go up and check.
Fot 6:
Raigardas valley
The Raigardas valley is a picturesque landscape valley. There are many legends and folk stories about Raigardas. Supposedly, very long ago there was a great city, which was later swallowed up by the earth. From time immemorial it is considered that the slopes of the Raigardas trough together with the pine trees growing on the high and dry slope sink to the springy abyss. The valley has been growing every year. The name Raigardas came from old times, then a city in Lithuanian was called "gardas" and swamps ?€" "raja". From these two ancient words the name Raigardas was coined.
 Raigardas valley6
 Augustów Canal 7 Fot 7:
Augustów Canal
It is a precious masterpiece of water construction, unique on the European scale, dating from the first half of the 19th century.
Preserved wholly, it is a testimony to engineering art of Polish constructors, both military and civil. Historically, this waterway was to link the Vistula with the Nemunas through the Narew, Biebrza, Netta and Czarna Hañcza Rivers. Further, through the Windawa River it was connected to the Baltic port Windawa. The Canal is exceptionally beautiful and offers sightseeing and tourist attractions.
Presently, the Canal's combined length from Dębowo Sluice on the Biebrza to Niemnowo Sluice in Belarus is 101,2 km, out of which 21,2 km are on the Belorussian side.
Fot 8:
Hañcza Lake view from the Stara Hañcza (Old Hañcza)
It's dimensions: coverage 3 km2, depth 108,5 m. ,height of the water level 227 m, length 4,5 km, maximum width 1185 m. It is the deepest lake in Poland. The Black Hañcza River is flowing through the lake. Big amount of boulders is concentrated along its coast. It  is evidence of the long lasting ice cover in the lake's furrow. Creation of such deep furrow was probably connected with several factors: subglacial erosion, glacial egzaration, glacitectonic and perhaps tectonic phenomena. It is characterised by big transparency of water and high content of oxygen. Water reserve and landscape protection area was established here, in 1963.
 Hañcza Lake view from the Stara Hañcza (Old Hañcza)8