What are we walking on?

If you were planning on skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or otherwise going into the mountains this weekend, perhaps you would be interested to know what you are walking on. Would it surprise you to learn that some of the rocks on the Island of Kvaløya, in the Troms district of Norway, are 1.77-1.8 billion years old? That is 1800000000 years old.


Map of Western Troms Geology from Bergh et al., 2012.

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What is so unique about Norway?


Tomma Island, Nordland. Part of the Rödingsfjället Nappe Complex, these rocks are mid-grade metamorphosed rock with a sedimentary origin.

Many people would answer the long coastline and fjords of Norway. Even though fjords exist in other countries as well, such as on Greenland, Alaska, Iceland and New Zealand, nowhere in the world are the fjords so accessible and so numerous. Norwegian fjords are narrow, long and deep. The second and third largest fjord in the world both are in Norway (the largest is in Greenland).  Besides fjords there are many other examples of a unique culture and heritage in Norway; the Sami culture, wooden architecture, Norwegian salmon, lutefisk (and other traditional food), the North Sea oil and the Norwegian ‘folkedrakt’.

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