Norway has been covered by ice during the so called ice age. There have been many ice ages though. During the ice ages large blocks of ice, today known as glaciers, could be as tall as 3000 meters (9000 feet). You could describe the glaciers as giant bulldozers, shaping the landscape into what we see around us in Norway today. So as the ice was moving it would carve out and move large amounts of rocks, stone and sand. This process is also known as glaciation .
What makes a fjord a fjord?
A part of the glaciation process was to carve out valleys. This would typically happen when a glacier retracted towards the ocean. The work of the glacier would produce a U-shaped valley , and at the end when it reached the ocean it would be flooded, creating a fjord.As the carving proceeded towards the ocean it would gradually decline since the glacier would shrink. Typically fjords are therefor very deep inland where they begin, and become progressively more shallow as you get closer to the ocean
A few fjord facts
- Coral reefs have been found on the bottom of many Norwegian fjords.
- Fjords have brackish water. A mix of salt water from the ocean and fresh water from glaciers, snow and rain
- Inland fjords do exist, but are called fjord valley lakes
- In Norway there are more than 1700 named fjords
- The Sognefjord is the longest fjord in Norway and stretches 205 km (127 mi) inland
I hope this article helped clear up some fjord questions you might have. This would be like asking “how big is a shoe? In other words it varies a lot. But as a general rule one can say that a fjord is often as deep as the hill sides are tall, but sometimes its even deeper! For instance the Sognefjord reaches a depth of up to 1,300 meters (4,200 feet).
When it comes to length, it might be interesting to know that the coastline of Norway is about 29,000 km (18,000 miles) long, but excluding the fjords its only 2,500 km (1,600 miles) long.I hope this article helped clear up some fjord questions you might have next time you come to Norway.