Scandinavian Mountains



The Scandinavian Mountains ( also called Scandes, Swedish fells, Norwegian Kjølen ) is a mountain range that runs through the Scandinavian Peninsula from the Norwegian Skagerrak coast in the south to the North Cape. It has a length of about 1700 km and a width of up to 320 km. Norway and Sweden, and to a very small part in the north of Finland also share in the mountains. Along the eastern border of Finland to the south extends to the foothills flattening Maanselkä on which Russia participates. That in its northern portion running along the border between Norway and Sweden Mountains is also the watershed of Scandinavia. In the Norwegian part of the Jotunheimen Scandes reach the 2469 m high Galdhøpiggen the highest point in Northern Europe and Norway. In the Kebnekaise, 2111 meters, they also provide the highest mountain in Sweden and in the Haltitunturi, 1324 m, the highest mountain in Finland.


The rocks of the Scandinavian Mountains represent a part of the Caledonian Mountains, which in the course of the collision, " Ur - North America " ( Laurentia ) with " Ur - Europe " ( Baltica ) was unfolded. This collision took place before about 440 or 430-390 million years ago (early Silurian to mid- Devonian) and is known as the Caledonian orogeny Skandische phase of the referred. This mountain was leveled more below or less completely by erosion.

Today's Scandinavian Mountains is the result of uplift of the old Caledonian deformed crust during the Tertiary. For the cause of this uplift are several hypotheses. For example, the Scandinavian Mountains is interpreted inter alia as rift shoulder of the North Atlantic Rift or attributed to tectonic stresses within the western Eurasian crust due to a general change in the global plate motions. However, significant negative gravity anomalies in the area of the Scandinavian Mountains indicate an isostatic uplift that might be a moderate heating and consequently a density loss of Caledonian deformed crust associated. The heat source of the Iceland hotspot is suspected.


The Scandes reach a height of 2469 m ( Galdhøpiggen ), but have in some areas only a highland region. The hochgebirgigen areas show due to the rejuvenation by Ice Age glaciers, unlike the rest of the European high mountains, often round, soft forms ( Gletscherschliff ), rarely pronounced peak shapes. The heights of the mountains are partly formed in plateaus, which are dissected by deep, steep valleys. During the Ice Age the Scandes were almost completely buried under a 1500 -meter-thick layer of ice. After defrosting the ice load put an uplift that continues today. While the Scandinavian Mountains to the east falls in stages, the west side is characterized by a steep, deep zertalten waste. By the glacial reshaping originated on the west side also numerous fjords with the typical glacial valleys trough shape.

Parts of the Scandes are covered by plateau glaciers, whose offshoots almost down to sea level extend (eg Engenbreen, 10 m). The largest are Jostedalsbreen ( approximately 486 km ² the largest glacier in continental Europe ), svartisen and Folgefonna.

View from Kebnekaise (2110 m), on the mountains of Lapland

The valley of Tarfala ( Kebnekaise area ) with the Kaskasapaktegletscher and the summit Kaskasapakte ( 2043 m)