Scandinavian Mountains

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Scandinavian Mountains
Ahkka from Maukojaureh.jpg
Mount Áhkká in Stora Sjöfallet National Park, Northern Sweden
Highest point
Peak Galdhøpiggen (Lom)
Elevation 2,469 m (8,100 ft) [1]
Coordinates 61°38′11″N 08°18′45″E / 61.63639°N 8.31250°E / 61.63639; 8.31250
Dimensions
Length 1,700 km (1,100 mi) [2]
Width 320 km (200 mi) [2]
Naming
Native name Skanderna, Fjällen, Kjølen, Skandit
Geography
Scandinavia-mountains.png
The Scandinavian Mountains
Countries Norway, Sweden and Finland
Range coordinates 65°N 14°E / 65°N 14°E / 65; 14Coordinates: 65°N 14°E / 65°N 14°E / 65; 14

The Scandinavian Mountains or the Scandes are a mountain range that runs through the Scandinavian Peninsula. The Scandinavian Mountains are equivalent to the Scandinavian Caledonides. The western sides of the mountains drop precipitously into the North Sea and Norwegian Sea, forming the famous fjords of Norway, while to the northeast they gradually curve towards Finland. To the north they form the border between Norway and Sweden, still reaching 2,000 m high (6,600 ft) at the Arctic Circle. The mountain range just touches northwesternmost Finland, but are scarcely more than hills at their northernmost extension at the North Cape (Nordkapp).

The mountains are not very high, but are at places very steep; Galdhøpiggen in southern Norway is the highest peak, at 2,469 metres (8,100 ft), Kebnekaise has the highest peak on the Swedish side, at 2,104 m (6,903 ft), while Halti is the highest peak in Finland, at 1,324 m (4,344 ft). The combination of a northerly location and moisture from the North Atlantic ocean has caused the formation of many icefields and glaciers. Temperature drops with increasing altitude, and permafrost becomes common from about 1,500 meters above sea level on their western slope in Southern Norway and at about 1,200 meter amsl on their eastern slope in Southern Norway near the border with Sweden. In Northern Norway, permafrost becomes common from about 800 – 900 m amsl on the western slope and some 200 - 300 meter lower on the eastern slope.[3]

The Scandinavian Mountains show clearly in this satellite photo of the Scandinavian Peninsula from February, 2003.

The Scandinavian mountains are composed of Precambrian and Paleozoic rocks, and are commonly characterized by steep sides and relatively flat tops. The rocks underlying the mountains are part of a system geologically connected with the mountains of Scotland, Ireland and, crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Appalachian Mountains of North America.[citation needed].


The origin of today's mountain topography is debated by geologists. During the Paleozoic, a continental collision between Scandinavia and Greenland produced a Himalayan-sized mountain range named the Caledonide Mountains. The Caledonide Mountains underwent an extensional collapse during the Devonian. Severe continental extension occurred at the Scandinavian margin during Permian and Mesozoic time, followed by continental breakup and sea floor spreading around 55 million years ago. Many geologists consider the flat tops of the mountains as evidence that the Paleozoic Caledonide Mountains were essentially destroyed by erosion and that a low relief, low elevation peneplain was later uplifted. A few geophysicists consider the current mountains to be remnants of the Caledonian mountains. Under this hypothesis the Caledonide Mountains were eroded to one-fifth of their original height, and would be one of the oldest still extant mountain ranges in the world.[citation needed]

The Scandinavian Montane Birch forest and grasslands terrestrial ecoregion is closely associated with the mountain range.

Names in Scandinavia[edit]

Its name in Scandinavian languages are, in Swedish Skanderna,[4] Fjällen ("the Fells") or Kölen (Fjällen being by far the most[citation needed] frequent name and virtually the only one in modern colloquial speech), in Finnish Skandit or uncommonly used Köli and in Norwegian Kjølen, with the three latter meaning The Keel. In 2013 another[4] Norwegian name got the most votes in a naming contest started by Norsk Geologisk Forening and Den Norske Turistforening[5]Nordryggen ("the north ridge").

Highest mountains in Norway[edit]

Of the 10 highest mountain peaks in Scandinavia (prominence greater than 30 m or 98 ft), 6 are situated in Oppland, Norway. The other 4 are situated in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. There are 83 peaks equal to or taller than 2,200 m (7,218 ft) in Norway.

  1. 2,469 m (8,100 ft) Galdhøpiggen (Oppland)
  2. 2,465 m (8,087 ft) Glittertind (Oppland)
  3. 2,405 m (7,890 ft) Store Skagastølstind (Sogn og Fjordane)
  4. 2,387 m (7,831 ft) Store Styggedalstinden east (Sogn og Fjordane)
  5. 2,373 m (7,785 ft) Skarstind (Oppland)
  6. 2,369 m (7,772 ft) Vesle Galdhøpiggen (Oppland)
  7. 2,368 m (7,769 ft) Surtningssue (Oppland)
  8. 2,366 m (7,762 ft) Store Memurutinden (Oppland)
  9. 2,351 m (7,713 ft) Jervvasstind (Sogn og Fjordane)
  10. 2,348 m (7,703 ft) Sentraltind (Sogn og Fjordane)

Highest mountains in Sweden[edit]

There are 12 peaks in Sweden that reach above 2,000 m high (6,600 ft), or 13 depending on how you define a peak. This list is defined according to UIAA. Eight of them are located in Sarek National Park and the neighbouring national park Stora Sjöfallet. The other four peaks are located in the further north region of Kebnekaise. All mountain names are in Sami but with the more common Swedish spelling of it.

  1. 2,104 m (6,903 ft) Kebnekaise (Lappland)
  2. 2,097 m (6,880 ft) Kebnekaise Nordtoppen (Lappland)
  3. 2,089 m (6,854 ft) Sarektjåkkå Stortoppen (Lappland)
  4. 2,076 m (6,811 ft) Kaskasatjåkka (Lappland)
  5. 2,056 m (6,745 ft) Sarektjåkkå Nordtoppen (Lappland)
  6. 2,043 m (6,703 ft) Kaskasapakte (Lappland)
  7. 2,023 m (6,637 ft) Sarektjåkkå Sydtoppen (Lappland)
  8. 2,016 m (6,614 ft) Akka Stortoppen (Lappland)
  9. 2,010 m (6,594 ft) Akka Nordvästtoppen (Lappland)
  10. 2,010 m (6,594 ft) Sarektjåkkå Buchttoppen (Lappland)
  11. 2,005 m (6,578 ft) Pårtetjåkka (Lappland)
  12. 2,002 m (6,568 ft) Palkatjåkka (Lappland)

Other popular mountains for skiers, climbers and hikers in Sweden

Highest mountains in Finland[edit]

Landscape as seen from Meekonvaara (1019m) towards the highest fells
  1. 1,324 m (4,344 ft) Halti (Lappi/Lappland and Norwegian Troms)
  2. 1,317 m (4,321 ft) Ridnitsohkka (Lappi/Lappland)
  3. 1,280 m (4,200 ft) Kiedditsohkka (Lappi/Lappland)
  4. 1,240 m (4,068 ft) Kovddoskaisi (Lappi/Lappland)
  5. 1,239 m (4,065 ft) Ruvdnaoaivi (Lappi/Lappland)
  6. 1,180 m (3,871 ft) Loassonibba (Lappi/Lappland)
  7. 1,150 m (3,773 ft) Urtasvaara (Lappi/Lappland)
  8. 1,144 m (3,753 ft) Kahperusvaarat (Lappi/Lappland)
  9. 1,130 m (3,707 ft) Aldorassa (Lappi/Lappland)
  10. 1,100 m (3,608 ft) Kieddoaivi (Lappi/Lappland)

Highest independent prominence in Finland is found at Taivaskero. At 807 m high.

See also[edit]

Scandinavian Mountains biogeographical region as defined by the European Agency of Environment and corrected by the Norwegian directorate for Nature Management. Red = Alpine region, Yellow = Atlantic region, green = Boreal region, blue = Arctic region.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Galdhøpiggen". Nationalencyklopedin (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Lindström, Maurits. "fjällkedjan". Nationalencyklopedin (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.cicero.uio.no/fulltext/index.aspx?id=9539
  4. ^ a b "- Nordryggen, hæ ?" [The North Ridge, what]. Dagbladet (in Norwegian). 2013-09-14. 
  5. ^ Fjellkjeden skal hete Nordryggen

External links[edit]

Media related to Scandinavian Mountains at Wikimedia Commons