Both bedrock and rock debris show great amount variation in their composition. This variation is contributes to the diversity we see in the ecosystems it's biological diversity. Rocks can provide nutrients to the soil, depending on their composition and solubility. Calcareous rock gives rise to a lush vegetation and species diversity, while quartz rich rocks are found in barren areas and sterile soils. Rocks containing Magnesium-rich sediments may contain different flora than phosphate rich soils. The presence of heavy metals in the soil might ensure a unique, customized flora.
Sediments provide variation to our landscape, from the sorted and porous ice-margin delta and river deposits, to compacted moraines and loams. Land forms are also characterized by their geological composition. Hard and barren rocks characterize Norway's bare and steep mountainsides, while the softer and less resistant rocks are a feature of our valleys and serve to soften the landscape.
Geological variation can be the result of an interaction between people and the geology around them; for example, through the exploitation of geological resources.
The variations in geology provides us with unique geotopes. This would include those demarcated areas that are representative of a particular geological phenomenon or a combination of geological phenomena. All areas on Earth are part of one or more geotopes.
NGU has been examining a number of geological parameters that could be the source of variation in nature. Such data may provide an improved basis upon which we can define natural features and predict variations in biological diversity. An important task is to identify geotopes that could be particularly vulnerable, as well as a subdividing Norway into geotopes.