Norway Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

Norway – geology

Norway is located along the northeastern edge of the Baltic Shield and is built mainly of Precambrian bedrock and the Scandinavian mountain range, also called the Caledonians.

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The oldest pre-Cambrian rocks (approximately 2.8 billion years) are found on the Varanger Peninsula, where relatively unchanged sediments and volcanic rocks rest on a bed of gneiss and granite. Among the sediments are quartz-banded iron ores, which were previously mined in Norway’s largest iron mine. In southern Norway, there are three areas with pre-Cambrian rocks. Northwest between Sunnfjord and Trondheimsfjorden, gneisses occur with granulite, eclogite, dunite and garnet peridotite, all rocks that originate from great depths in the earth’s crust. In the south-eastern Norwegian bedrock near the border with Sweden, there are large granite areas, in the northeastern part of which there is a reddish-brown, continental sandstone, the Trysil sandstone (approximately 1500-1300 million years). The large southern Norwegian bedrock area consists of the Kongsberg-Bamble complex, there are gneisses and supracrustal rocks, i.e. both sediments and volcanic eruptions, with alkaline intrusives. Here the famous solid silver occurs at Kongsberg. In the Egernsund field, in addition to gneiss and granite, anorthosite and gabbro-norite occur with deposits of nickel-containing iron and ilmenite ore (titanium iron). In Knabenminen in Kvinesdal, former molybdenite (molybdenum luster) was used and at Modum some cobalt deposits. The Telemark suite forms metamorphosed sediments and granite volcanites. Quartzite from Eidanger by Dalen has been exported as a grindstone since the Viking Age. Granites in the southern Norwegian bedrock area are dated to approximately 1100-900 million years before now.

At the end of the Precambrian and from the Cambrian to Silurian sediments were deposited far inland over the Baltic Shield, and along the continent’s edge, deep-sea sediments were deposited along with alkaline volcanic rocks. Of these sediments are found in the Mjøsa area feldspar-containing sandstones (sparagmites), dolomite, shales and moraine conglomerates (trust). At the end of the Silurian, the Scandinavian mountain range was formed by a collision between Europe’s ancient continental core Baltica and the continent Laurentia, where the Baltic Plate was shot under Laurentia. The collision led to the formation of a series of excess cover consisting of the sediments and in places flakes of the Precambrian substrate, which were transported up to 100 km in over the Baltic Shield. The degree of deformation and thus the degree of transformation (metamorphosis) is increasing today to the west towards the central collision zone that runs between Jæren and the Varanger Peninsula.

In Devon, the Scandinavian mountain range was undergoing degradation, and thick layers of conglomerates and sandstone were deposited in so-called intermontane lake basins, some of which are preserved in Western Norway. During the Carboniferous, the mountain range was largely broken down into a plain-like erosion landscape, a so-called peneplan. In Perm, a burial depression was formed in the Oslo field, where fossil-rich Cambro-Silurian sediments and intrusive alkaline rocks with their corresponding lavas, the rhombic porphyries, are found. From Jura and Kridt, there is a 500 m thick layer of fossil-containing sand and clay stones with coal layers on Andøy in northern Norway.

The penile plane rose during the Tertiary, mostly along the ocean coast, whereby the watershed came to lie near the west coast. The river erosion increased and shaped the valley systems. In the Kvartær, the climate worsened, and in the highest areas around the watershed a continuous ice cover was formed, which during the ice ages spread to the whole of Northern Europe. The glaciers deepened the valley systems that follow older geological structures. At the bottom of the valleys, moraine deposits and meltwater plains today raise large lakes such as Lake Mjøsa. Since the melting of the ice, the land has been raised as a result of isostatic leveling, which has led to the formation of terraces in the coastal areas at different heights: the oldest are found up to 240 m above sea level.

Norway – plant growth

The Norwegian plant world is characterized by the rapidly changing climatic and topographical conditions. The number of wild-growing species of vascular plants is around 1500. The most species-rich flora is found furthest south, where deciduous forests occur with e.g. common oak, maple, ash and hazel; beech forest is limited to coastal areas. The herbal flora in the deciduous forests is reminiscent of the Danish with bingelurt, forest mark, forest lettuce and puffin grass.

In the rainy areas in the SW there are many oceanic species such as holly and ivy; in the far west even extremely oceanic species such as purple heather, several mosses and lichens. In terms of vegetation, Norway belongs to the boreal zone, and tree growth is dominated by Scots pine and spruce, of which the former is the most widespread. At higher altitudes, different types of birch forest occur. The tree line is located in the southernmost part of Norway at approximately 1000 m, in Finnmark only approximately 200 m.

Above the tree line, the duration of the snow cover is one of the most decisive factors for the vegetation distribution. The mountain flora contains partly arctic and partly arctic-alpine elements and is richest in calcareous areas. Grouse heather (Dryas octopetala) is a typical example of a species that, in addition to the Scandinavian mountains, also occurs in mountain areas further south, eg in the Alps and the Carpathians; after the ice age, it also grew in the tundra-like vegetation in the intermediate lowland areas, eg Denmark.

A small group of mountain plants, approximately 30 species, are associated with Greenland and North America. They are of particular plant geographical interest, as they are presumed to have survived the last ice age in ice-free areas, either coastal mountain refuges (on nunataks) in southern Norway or tundra refuges in the north.

Norway – wildlife

Norwegian fauna has a great feature of Arctic species, such as clean, arctic fox, wolverine, lemmings, ptarmigan and snow bunting that are prevalent down in the southern mountain regions of over 1000 m altitude; The Hardangervidda thus has a large population of wild reindeer, while the majority of reindeer in the north are domestic reindeer. In the mountains, mountain lark and heifer character birds.

Musk ox, which is one of the few mammals found in Norwegian Kvartær deposits, has been exposed several times and has established a population in the Dovre area. Red deer are particularly numerous in western Norway, and deer have in the 1900’s. spread all the way up to Finnmark. Moose are common, and there are solid populations of the large predators bear, lynx and wolverine, while wolves and mountain foxes have become quite rare.

Butt-nosed frogs and reptiles forest lizards and vipers are widespread throughout the country; the latter can be found high up in the mountains. In western and northern Norway, the fish fauna is dominated by salmon, trout and mountain trout, and salmon fishing in e.g. Namsen attracts many foreign anglers. In SE there are perch, pike and several carp fish. The insect fauna counts about 15,000 known species, of which 3400 beetle species, many with a northern distribution limit in Norway.

Along the coast there are seabird colonies with guillemots, teapots and mallemuk and in many places large sole colonies. Norway has a strong population of sea eagles, which especially breed near the coast. Gray seals, harbor seals and harbor seals breed in Norway, while ringed seals, harp seals and hooded seals are common roamers. Several whale species migrate past the country, and a certain amount of tourist activity has been built up, especially on Lofoten, around whale safaris for sperm whales, orcas, blue whales, fin whales and saithe whales.

Norway – language

Norwegian is the mother tongue of approximately 94% of the population in Norway and for a small minority outside Norway, especially in the USA. There are two official Norwegian written languages, Bokmål and Nynorsk, and answers from public authorities must be in the same language as the inquiry. School districts must choose one target as the language of instruction, but students must be able to read and write both target forms. Most Norwegians write Bokmål or Riksmål, which is a more conservative variant. For culture and traditions of Norway, please check aparentingblog.

Approximately 30,000 in northern Norway speak Sami or both Sami and Norwegian. The Sami written language is allowed in Norwegian schools, and since 1992 these Sami speakers have had the right to receive answers in Sami from public authorities.

Among the main immigrant languages ​​are Urdu (about 14,000), Vietnamese, Chinese and Turkish. In addition, approximately 25,000 Danish or Swedish and somewhat fewer Finnish.

Norway – religion

The Nordic religion officially gave way to Christianity in the beginning of the 1000’s. In 1152-53 the country became an independent church province. Norway was from 1397 part of the Kalmar Union and until 1814 subject to the Danish king; the Lutheran Reformation was introduced in 1536 by the Danish king. From the beginning of the 1600’s was the Lutheran Orthodoxy exclusive. With the introduction of autocracy in 1660-61, the church was governed from Copenhagen. As in Denmark, pietism gave birth to revival and school and mission initiatives, and the Enlightenment a mild rationalism. During the union with Sweden 1814-1905, the national church government was strengthened. The Evangelical Lutheran Church has since been a state church with parish councils (1920), bishops’ councils (1933), church councils (1969) and since 1984 a representative church meeting. Freedom of religion was strengthened in the 1840’s, most recently in 1964. From 1969, registered denominations outside the state church are entitled to state subsidies.

1800-t. was characterized by large, often pietistic revivals (not least the Haugian) and an extensive low-church inner and outer missionary association. The priests were most often orthodox-pietistic, but Grundtvigianism also gained ground. From the end of the 1800’s, there were violent clashes between liberals and conservatives, which led to the establishment in 1908 of a private theological faculty, the Congregational Faculty, which was in opposition to the liberal faculty at Oslo University. During the German occupation 1940-45, a united church front was formed. The old contradictions have characterized the debate in the post-war period with sharp clashes about especially abortion and female priests. In 1993, Norway got its first female bishop. New revivals have been predominantly charismatic.

In 1996, approximately 88% to the state church, approximately 6% belonged to other denominations, and approximately 6% were not members of any denomination.

Among the free churches, the Pentecostal movement, the Methodist Church, the Norwegian Missionary Association and the Salvation Army in particular stand out with a total of approximately 80,000 members. Characteristic of Norwegian church life is the extensive missionary work that a large number of voluntary associations carry out at home and abroad. The most important are (1999): Det Norske Misjonsselskap (approximately 5000 associations, 410 missionaries), Norsk Lutheran Misjonssamband (approximately 3300 associations, 400 missionaries), Det norske lutherske Indremisjonsselskap (approximately 3000 associations/groups) and Det Vestlandske Indremisjonsforbund (1500 associations).

Norway Geography