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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