Geology Through Literature:
Hans Christian Andersen's: The Rags (1868)
The Rags (1868)
"I am Norse!" said the Norwegian. "And when I've said I'm Norse I guess I've said enough. I'm firm of fiber, like the ancient granite rocks of old Norway. The land up there has a constitution, like the free United States. It makes my fibers tingle to think what I am and to sound out my thoughts in words of granite!"
Norway's bedrock is truly ancient by no exaggeration of the term. The oldest rocks in Norway are part of the Fennoscandinavian shield, which are the Scandinavian Precambrian bedrock, the oldest rocks of which can be found along the northern edges of the country in Finnmark, Troms, and Vesterålen. These oldest rocks date back almost 3 billion years old.
|The oldest rock in Norway at 2.9 billion years old. Image courtesy of the Geological Survey of Norway.
As you can see in the map below, most of these truly ancient parts of the Scandinavian shield are in the Finland and Russian parts of the Fennoscandian Peninsula.
|Bedrock geology of Scandinavia. Image courtesy of the Geological Survey of Norway.
|Basic Intrusive Igneous Rock Scale
|Portion of the Geological Map of the Fennoscandian Shield showing northern Norway. Circled rocks represent the oldest (Archaean rocks identified as "462") in Norway. Image courtesy of GigaPan.