Home >> Encyclopedia-britannica-volume-16-mushroom-ozonides >> North Carolina to Nucleus >> Norway_P1


north, ft, south, fjord, plateau, west, lies, rocks, line and hardanger

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

NORWAY (Norge), a kingdom of northern Europe, occupy ing the west and smaller part of the Scandinavian peninsula. Its east frontier marches with that of Sweden, except in the extreme north, where Norway abuts on Finland. On the north, north west, west, the boundaries are the Arctic ocean, Norwegian sea (Atlantic ocean) and North sea respectively. The Skagerak washes it on the south and south-east. The south extremity of the country is the island of Kraage near Mandal in 57° 57' N., and the north that of Cape Knivskjerodden (71° N.), west of the North cape on the island of Magero. Of the mainland, the promontory northernmost is Nordkyn, in 71° 8' N., the southern most, Lindesnes in 57° 59' N. Hence the south extremity of Nor way lies in the same latitude as Dornoch firth (Scotland) and of mid-Kamchatka. The most western island, Steinso, lies off the mouth of the Sogne fjord 3o' E.), and the easternmost point is Homo (3i° 1 o' E.) near Vardo. The direct length of Norway (south-west to north-east) is about 'Jo° miles. The extreme breadth (about 61° N.) is 26o m. ; the average is about 6o m., but the Swedish frontier approaches within 5 m. of a head-branch of Ofoten fjord, and the Finland frontier within 22 m. of Lyngs fjord. The length of the coast line is difficult to estimate; disre garding indentations it is about 2,110 m., but including the fjords and greater islands it is probably 12,000 miles. The total area was estimated at 124.964 sq. miles (1920).

Physical Features.

The main highland mass of the whole Scandinavian peninsula is a very much eroded plateau which, probably on account of forming, in the main, the watershed be tween the rapid western rivers and the normally longer and slower eastern rivers of Sweden, has received the name of Kjolen (the Keel). Although the plateau as a structural feature may be considered to extend from south-west Norway to North cape and even beyond into Spitsbergen, yet its ridge-like character is most marked where it coincides most closely with the Swedish boundary, i.e., north of 63° N., and there is a desirable tendency to restrict the name to this portion. The high plateau consists of early Palaeozoic rocks which represent one of the oldest struc tural elements in Europe. An Archaean zone stretches along the west coast from Bergen to Hammerfest interrupted towards the north by overlying patches of Palaeozoic deposits. Gneiss pre dominates, but other crystalline rocks occur subordinately. The Lofoten islands consist chiefly of eruptive granite, syenite and gabbro. South of a line drawn from the head of the Hardanger fjord to Lake Mjiisen is another great Archaean area.

A line drawn from the Nase to the North cape coincides roughly with a marked change in the character and structure of the Palaeozoic rocks. East of this line even the Cambrian beds are free from overfolding, overthrusting and regional metamorphism. They lie flat upon the Archaean floor, or have been faulted into it in strips, and they are little altered except in the neighbourhood of igneous intrusions. West of the line the rocks have been folded and metamorphosed to such an extent that it is often difficult to distinguish the Palaeozoic rocks from the Archaean. They form in fact a folded mountain chain of ancient date which has subse quently been worn down and then faulted up. No volcanic rocks of recent date are known in Norway. This faulting largely ac counts for the almost unique character of the river and coastal topography of Norway. Differential erosion, partly glacial, has

caused many of the highland masses to form prominent mountain summits not only on such islands as the Lofoten chain, but on the plateau itself. The average height of Norway is probably about 1,600 ft. and may be compared with approximately i,000 ft. for Europe as a whole. This high figure for Norway is not dependent so much on the height of individual summits as on the absence of extensive lowlands; south-east Norway is the lowest part and even this is of a hilly nature. In the area north west of the Norway-Finland boundary a few peaks reach slightly over 4,000 ft., but immediately south of the junction of the three countries the general height increases considerably, though the most lofty summits are entirely Norwegian only in the ex treme north of this area. (See SWEDEN.) Here Jaeggesvarre (6,283 f t.) lies between Lyngs and Uls fjords, and Kistefjeld (5,653 ft.) provides right bank water for the Barduelv, which runs west ward north of Tornetrask. Sulitj'61ma (6,158 f t.) lies actually on the frontier. Nearer the coast and centred approximately on the Arctic circle is the great icefield of Svartisen (see GLACIERS), through which projects Snetind nunatak (5,246 ft.). The only important peaks immediately south of this are Okstinderne (6,273 ft.), and the rather better known Stora Borgefjeld (5,587 ft.). At about Lat. 631° N. is the southern limit—Trondhjem fjord—of a remarkable depression which runs for upwards of 200 m. south-west to north-east dividing the narrowest part of Norway into almost equal eastern and western strips. Its exit is at Saltfjord (near Bodo) and it is characterized by numerous rivers, some draining north, others south; the depression is of the greatest importance for internal communication and for future railway routes. Due east of Trondhjem fjord the plateau is lowest and narrowest, again offering a relatively easy communica tion route already utilized by a railway. Also from this fjord southwards is a valley line and a railway route to the Upper Glommen valley and down this to Oslo. South of the Trond hjem "narrowing" the plateau swings westwards, becoming higher, wider and more definitely Norwegian. The Sogne fjord (60 N.) and its branches reach out towards a giant horseshoe of the high est ridges in Norway ; northwards are the Jostedalsbrae ; the Jo tunheim lies north and north-east; the Hardanger fjeld is south east and the Voss lies south. North-east of the Jotunheim beyond the deep cleft of Gudbrandsdal and its north-west counterpart the Romsdal, is the Dovre fjeld, and south-east of this, the Ron danefjeld. South of the Hardanger fjeld, beyond Hardanger fjord, is the lake-sprinkled Hardanger Vidda, the most expansive tract of open high plateau in Europe ; south-eastwards this plateau merges into the lower hummocky Telemark mountains which are drained south and south-east to the Skagerak. The most lofty summits occur in the Jotunheim with Galdhopiggen (8,097 ft.) as the highest Norwegian mountain, though if the i oo ft. or so of snow on the top of Glitterkind is included, then this reaches to 8,140 ft.; nearly 3o peaks in all exceed 6,500 ft. in the Jotun heim mass. The other mountain areas are lower, though the Dovre fjeld and the Rondanefjeld have Snehaetta (7,55o ft.) and Rund vashogda (6,890 ft.) as their respective summit masses.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7