The land rises in the Kvarken region around 8,5mm per year, and it has a great effect to the surrounding nature. During the last ice age that ended around 10,000 years ago, the glacier weighed down the crust of Earth. When the ice melted away, the crust began to gradually rise, and became known as the phenomenon still visible as the land uplift on seaside shores. Because of its unique nature, the Kvarken archipelago is the only UNESCO natural world heritage site in Finland.
Here the land uplift can be seen as harbours getting shallower, and old docks on dry land. The Port of Vaasa has been moved several times because of the land uplift, and nowadays old stone docks can be seen on dry land in Suvilahti and Vanha Vaasa. The inner Eteläinen kaupunginselkä is gradually closing up and turning into wetland.