Ice and rock

The geologist is able to read the rocks and terrain features, deciphering a geological history that stretches at least 1.5 billion years back in time. Folgefonnhalvøya is a peninsula that has been exposed to powerful and varied forces.

Sediments formed on what was once ocean floor, and later congealed under enormous weight into metamorphic rock. Tectonic plates colliding or pushing past each other then folded the rock and pushed high mountains toward the sky.

 

Møsevatnet
Møsevatnet - © Randi

Ice as sculptor

The fjords and valleys that we see today were carved out by the massive icecap that covered western Norway and most of Scandinavia during not one but a series of more than 40 ice ages over the course of the last 2.7 million years. Geologically speaking, that is very recent! Today, the landscape is still being shaped – by the continued grinding of icefalls, and mountains that scale off and cleave due to repeated winter freezing and spring thaw, raging rivers, erosion and rock-slides.

 

Faldingar i migmatittgneis © Jan Rabben
Faldingar i migmatittgneis - © Jan Rabben

At the National Park Centre and the Stone Park in Rosendal you can learn more about how to read the signs that reveal the history of magnificent Folgefonna. For an extended exploration of the fascinating interplay between ice and stone, consider hiking the Geological Path. This well-marked path goes from Nordrepollen, in the innermost reaches of the Maurangsfjord, to the glacier arm called Botnabreen.