Bedrock geology

The Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) carries out mapping, map compilation and research on Norway's bedrock geology. Several small-scale maps have been published, including the 1:1 million 'Bedrock map of Norway' and various geological maps of Northern Europe and adjacent sea areas, the latter produced in collaboration either with the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate or with geological institutes in other European countries.

NGU has published bedrock maps covering the entire country at a scale of 1:250,000. Maps showing more detailed geology have also been published, generally at 1:50,000 scale.

In total, 340 map-sheets have been published at 1:50,000 scale, of which about 100 are either printed in colour or can be distributed as preliminary, digital colour copies. All maps are also available through NGU's digital map database.

Structural-geological investigations are generally conducted simultaneously with mapping, with follow-up studies on petrology, geochemistry and geochronology, in order to reach a comprehensive assessment of the geological development of the map area, and integrate this history into the geological evolution of a much larger region.

Natural resources

Thus, we aim to contribute toward a better understanding of the diverse geological processes that have interacted in producing the geology and landscape of Norway that we observe today.

A thorough knowledge of the bedrock geology plays a key role in the search for, and assessment of, various raw materials and natural resources, as well as water supplies, waste disposal sites, areal and environmental planning, construction activities and alternative energy sources.

It is also a major factor in influencing our evaluation of the potential dangers posed by natural hazards such as earthquakes, rockfalls, landslides and local floodwaves or tsunamis. Geological maps and systematic research on the geology thus provide users with the basic knowledge and information that is required to enable them to make decisions on the sustainable use of the country's resources.

NGU's knowledge of Norwegian bedrock geology is available as maps, digital databases and publications. Important maps and publications:

  • Bedrock maps, 1:250,000 scale, a series of 43 map-sheets, NGU 1970-1999
  • Bedrock map of Norway, 1: 1 million, NGU 1984
  • Geological Map. Land and sea areas of Northern Europe. 1: 4 million, NGU 2003
  • Bedrock map of Norway and sea areas, 1:3 million, NGU 1993
  • Geological map of the Fennoscandian Shield, 1:2 million, NGU and others, 2001
  • Rock classification and map compilation. Gjelle, S. & Sigmond, E.M.O, NGU Skrifter 113, 1995 [in Norwegian only]
  • Geology of Norway. Roberts, D., Olsen, L. & Nordgulen, Ø. (eds.) (in preparation, to be published in May 2008)