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Zartapi Waterfall (Zartapu ūdenskritums)

Zartapi Waterfall, April 2002
Zartapi Waterfall, April 2002. / Gatis Pāvils, CC BY-SA 4.0

WorldBlue  In short

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!

3.4 out of 10 stars 33.8%

GPS coordinates
57.6543 N 22.2825 E
Location, address
Europe, Latvia, Kurzeme, Talsi municipality, Dundaga parish, in the pristine forest south from Dundaga-Mazirbe road.
Name in Latvian
Zartapu ūdenskritums, Zārtapu ūdenskritums
Vilklinija Brook
Around 2.2 m
Around 0.4 – 0.6 m

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Zartapi Waterfall is both new and very old. Waterfall itself formed on the artificially straightened Vilklinija 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.

Frozen Zartapi Waterfall in March 2001
Frozen Zartapi Waterfall in March 2001. / Gatis Pāvils, CC BY-SA 4.0

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.

Colors of Zartapi Waterfall, April 2002
Colors of Zartapi Waterfall, April 2002. / Gatis Pāvils, CC BY-SA 4.0

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.

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