Gea Norvegica Geopark, a UNESCO European Geopark in Southern Norway
Duration of excursion: 3 days pre- or post-conference excursion starting and ending in Oslo. Note: Departure 3 August will be very early, so participants will need to be in Olso by 2 August.
Responsible: Geological advisor Sven Dahlgren (Gea Norvegica Geopark Geologist and Manager), Mona Hollte (Geopark Geologist), Patrick McKeever and others from the European Geoparks Network, the Gea Norvegica Geopark staff, members of local communities, and Norwegian Government organizations in natural heritage and tourism.
Geoparks and Society: The key role of geoparks in bringing geology to the public
This excursion will focus on the core aspects of the idea behind the UNESCO European Geoparks: The main issue of a geopark, besides conservation of internationally important geology, is to demonstrate the important effects of geodiversity on biodiversity, and various aspects of the evolution of the society as: settlement history, cultural evolution, and agriculture and industry development. The Gea Norvegica Geopark recently (Sept. 20th 2006) was awarded a status as a member of the European Geoparks Network (EGN) and UNESCO’s Global Geopark Network (GGN). The Gea Norvegica area is a perfect example to demonstrate how geodiversity influences biodiversity and the evolution of society. You will obtain a basic understanding of what is needed to make a European Geopark.
The geology of the Gea Norvegica Geopark
The geopark comprises 3000 km2 on the southwestern flank of the onshore part of the Oslo rift. The area records very important aspects of Scandinavian geology from the last 1600 Ma, and the geodiversity of the geopark area is unique on an international scale:
- A large variety of landscapes reflecting the diverse bedrock geology and quaternary deposits.
- Meso-Proterozoic gneisses, mafic intrusions and metasomatic rocks.
- The Fen Carbonatite Complex.
- The Proterozoic-Cambrian unconformity.
- Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, and Late Carboniferous sediments.
- Ultramafic (melilitites and nephelinites) and rhomb porphyry volcanics (mainly lavas).
- Faults and plutons of larvikite, nepheline syenite and alkali syenite belonging to the Oslo Rift.
- Glacial geomorphology and deposits from late Weichsel.
- Holocene marine clay deposits.