Zartapi Waterfall (Zārtapu ūdenskritums)
If you love the beauty of smaller things, you would adore Zartapi Waterfall. It is not large, just some 2 m high, and during the summer it is mostly dry. But – what colors! What a setting in the pristine forest!
Name in Latvian
Map of the site
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Zartapi Waterfall is both new and very old. Waterfall itself formed on the artificially straightened Zartapi Brook during the 20th century. But it falls over the oldest rocks that are exposed in Latvia: the Middle Devonian malm rock of the Narva Formation. These rocks started to form some 385 million years ago.
Waterfall is located in a fairly remote place, in the extensive forests of Slītere National Park. The rock is fairly soft and even the small stream has managed to chew through it, creating some 15 m long canyon with another, smaller step some meters below the main waterfall.
Especially amazing are the colors of exposed rocks. Layers of malm, dolostone, and clay have a rusty-burgundy color with occasional light-grey layers. A thin film of dark, nearly black iron minerals add even more color.
Please, refrain from visits to this waterfall! Unfortunately, each visit takes away a bit of its natural charm due to trodding and stomping.
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