The Priilmenskaya lowland, the center of which is occupied by the Polistovo-Lovatskaya bog system, is dedicated to the pre-glacial degradations in the bedrock and located among the Devonian lowlands. Bottom moraine overlies almost everywhere under the Polistovo-Lovatsky massif (the western part of which is occupied by Polistovsky Reserve) at the bottom of the former large glacial lake.
Peating of degradations that began after the recession of a stagnant lake, marked the beginning of formation of extensive wetlands in the southern and middle parts of the Priilmenskaya lowland, where the Polistovo-Lovatsky massif is the largest formation.
Within the Polistovo-Lovatsky massif, the Priilmenskaya lowland consists of a group of separate basins and elongated hollows, between which there are higher crests and lower plateaus. The overall slope to the North-North-East, mild in the southern part of the peat bog, is more distinctive in the North.
The Polistovo-Lovatsky massif should be regarded as a bog of the interfluve area within the limits of a general depression, with a common slope, i.e., this is a watershed slope massif. The wetland massif has plenty of top points.
These points are formed because of the existence of several independent bogs. Eminences located in the western and southern parts of the massif are long and narrow and, consequently, they are consistent in their form to channel-shape depressions in which they are developed. The absolute elevations of the surface vary between 98.0 and 100.67 m. The highest part of the massif of Polisto wetlands is located near village Veretye (99.87 m), between villages Zakhod and Medvezhye (99.7 m), and to the South-East of lake Mezhnitskoye (100.67 m). To the north of elevation Mezhnitskoye one can clearly observe the fall corresponding to the same slope of the bottom. There is a certain slope in the East. A sharp convex is not clearly displayed in the central valley. In the northernmost part of the massif, the surface of the peat bog in the central valley does not rise above the surrounding parts, or even slightly lowered.According to the physical-geographical zoning the Reserve is located in Ilmen-Lovatsky district of flat, sometimes bogged plains.
The soil cover of Polistovsky Reserve is very complex and diverse by the soil texture. Major soils are bog-podzolic, peaty-gley and soddy-podzolic. Excess moisture promotes gley soils.
The Polistovo-Lovatsky massif features a large capacity of peat. Thus, in the northern lakes of Polistovsky Reserve and further to the north its depth makes 6-8.25 m. Under the top of the western hollow the thickness of peat is at least 4 m, sometimes more than 5 m. On the major part of the massif the upper part of the basin is underlain by a thick layer of fen peat of 2-2.5 m. In the western valley instead of lowland peats there is a layer of sapropel up to 1.5-2 m, and even up to 4 m thick. Under the substantial part of the massif at the bottom there is a thin layer of water deposits - sapropel and peat water (skorpidium, reed peat, etc.).