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Skanstupites Cascade (Skanstupītes ūdenskritums)

Skanstupites Cascade in February 2024
Skanstupites Cascade in February 2024. / Gatis Pāvils, CC BY-SA 4.0

WorldBlue  In short

Inside the Plavinas town is a small cascade of picturesque waterfalls – Skanstupite Cascade. There, on Skanstupite River shortly before its fall into the flooded Daugava Valley have formed three steps that are 0.9, 0.2 and 0.4 m high.

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GPS coordinates
56.6176 N 25.7561 E
Location, address
Europe, Latvia, Vidzeme, Aizkraukle Municipality, eastern outskirts of Plavinas Town (Gostini), on Skanstupite River at Daugavas Street 171
Name in Latvian
Skanstupītes ūdenskritums
Total height: 1.5 m, consists of three cascades that are 0.9, 0.2 and 0.4 m high
4.5 m to 6 m

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Skanstupites Cascade in April 2008, first and secon steps
Skanstupites Cascade in April 2008. First and second steps are seen with smaller steps in between. / Gatis Pāvils, CC BY-SA 4.0

Before the construction of Plavinas Hydroelectric Power Station (1965) there were more than 20 waterfalls in the Daugava Canyon between Plavinas and Aizkraukle – some were more than 20 m high. Now, as the valley is flooded, just one waterfall remains above the waters of the flooded valley: Skanstupites Cascade.

This waterfall is located at the beginning of the flooded part of Daugava, on the small Skanstupite River just a few meters before the lake of the dam.

Waterfall has formed on the dolostone that formed during the Frasnian Stage (Daugava Formation), Upper Devonian period. Of course, the waterfall itself is much younger – it formed in its present form after the last glaciation, most likely, less than 10 thousand years ago (an instant for geologists).

The highest is the first step – it is some 0.9 m high. A little distance further is 0.2 m high step. Frequently it is flooded. Further below is the 0.4 m high third step. Usually, it is submerged. Occasionally, in the late summer, when the powerplant dam is undergoing repairs and the level in the lake is low, it can be seen. This is not an especially nice view: cliffs are covered with mud and a small amount of water is dropping over it in this time of the year. Before the construction of the powerplant, when this third step was not silted, it was up to 1 m high.

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