The Norwegian landscape of fjords has been ravaged hard by the ice. The Pulpit ('Prekestolen'), on the north side of Lysefjorden in Rogaland, stands straight after the glaciers have cut off the mountain top and formed the landscape toward the end of the last glaciation.
Prekestolen in Rogaland, Norway. Photo: Håvard Gautneb
We are probably used to see the landscape surrounding us as something that has always been there. However, with the earth placed on a geological timescale, we see huge changes. Thus, the beautiful Norwegian fjord landscape can be compared in time with a mayfly.
How Norway was formed
NGU's geologists map our country and manage the knowledge on how Norway was formed. They research the interaction between the internal building forces and the external destructive forces.
The earth's crust is a thin hard shell floating as many plates on the earth's mantle. In faults occur earthquakes and volcanoes where magma, or molten rock, is flowing upwards, creating new mountains and rock formations. Crustal plates can also collide, fold together and rise up to form high mountains.
Up and down
On the outside, the climate takes care of decomposition. Wind, water and ice erode and break down both rocks and soils, and transport the products out to sea.
Everything that is built up is torn down again. Todays Norwegian mountains are the remains of ancient mountain chains, that have been eroded down to sea level and subsequently raised again.
Published: 05. February 2008