What is it that is so unique?

Mil­li­ons of years of geo­lo­gi­cal events have sha­ped what we call the tab­le mountain area. The area simply con­si­sts of the Väst­gö­ta plain and the fif­teen tab­le mountains that frame it. The­re are three uni­que envi­ron­ments such as the pene­pla­ne (bed­rock sur­fa­ce) with its flat cliffs, the tab­le mountains that with their vari­ous rock lay­ers rise over the plain and ice age depo­sits that cre­a­te an incom­pa­rab­le lands­cape. In the­se envi­ron­ments the­re is a gre­at vari­e­ty of habi­tat types.

THE PENE­PLAIN is the remains of an anci­ent mountain range that towered over the lands­cape around 1,700 mil­li­on years ago. It has sin­ce ero­ded down to a flat sur­fa­ce, which now forms the basis of our lands­cape. This flat base­ment rock sur­fa­ce is laid bare in only a few pla­ces glo­bal­ly – and some of them are here in the geo­park! 

Image: Slätt­ber­gens natu­re reser­ve in Troll­hät­tan (Sand­hem). Pre­vious image (hea­der image) shows Nord­kro­ken out­si­de Var­gön. Pho­to: Hen­rik Theodorsson

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THE TAB­LE MOUNTAINS in Väs­ter­göt­land are built up of lay­ers of rocks, like the lay­ers of a cake. The­se lay­ers are: base­ment rock (granite/gneiss), sand­sto­ne, alum sha­le, limesto­ne, clay sha­le, and dole­ri­te. The hard dole­ri­te at the top has saved the mountains from ero­sion. The vari­ous pro­per­ti­es of the rocks have given the lands­cape a beau­ti­ful and vary­ing natu­re, as dif­fe­rent plants thri­ve on dif­fe­rent bed­rocks. 

Image: Ålle­berg seen from the mega­lit­hic tombs at Kar­le­by, Fal­kö­ping. Pho­to: Hen­rik Theodorsson.

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The ice has sha­ped the lands­cape we see today! ICE AGE DEPO­SITS are, simply put, tra­ces of the ice age. The­se tra­ces can look, and be made up, dif­fe­rent­ly and you have pro­bably heard of some of them: eskers, kett­le holes, end morai­nes, and sand dunes. The­se lands­cape types tell us how the deg­la­ci­a­tion hap­pened as the ice she­et retre­a­ted. 

Image: Kett­le hole at Varn­hem out­si­de Ska­ra. Pho­to: Johan Lindwert

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