Trollfjell Geopark – an application for Global Geopark status
For generations, the coastal landscape from Leka in the south to Vevelstad in the north has been perceived as being an extraordinarily beautiful and fertile area with a strong tradition for growth and development. The climate, soil, marine resources, topography, and unique backdrop created by distinctive mountains bathed in natural light define this legendary coastline. Here, the geodiversity has always been the foundation for human existence, and the geopark aims to extend that tradition into the future. Through interpretation and educational activities at all levels through the geopark, we seek to raise awareness of the connection between geology, landscape and human culture, not only for foreign visitors, but also for the local population. Trollfjell Geopark aims to raise local awareness of the natural and cultural identity of the area, encouraging the local population to be proud of it and motivate geoconservation.
In 2013, Trollfjell Geopark was established as a national geopark in this area. It is organised as an independent branch of the Sør-Helgeland Regional Council, and it encompasses six municipalities that are located in two different counties.. The geopark contributes to enhanced knowledge and understanding of geological heritage and cultural heritage from a regional perspective. The geopark emphasizes the importance of education and facilitates teaching natural science in general and geology in particular in schools, colleges and universities. The geopark project is part of the regional tourism strategy.
The geopark area contains a diverse geological heritage of international significance that cannot be compared to any other geopark in the world. The Trollfjell Geopark displays a 500 million year long geological macro-cycle, from ocean to ocean. The bedrock is composed of rocks that once were formed beneath, in and along an ancient ocean - The Iapetus. They display the architecture of an oceanic crust and the transition to continental settings, as well as the final closing of this ocean resulting in the continent-continent collision forming the Caledonian amountain chain 400 million years ago. The present landscape forms the margin of a ‘new’ ocean, the Atlantic. Glacial erosion has uncovered the rocks from the past, and shaped a unique coastal landscape of monumental mountains rising from the strandflat with its numerous islands. The land has been lifted more than 100 meters by isostatic rebound since the last ice age. Ancient shorelines can be seen up to this level, where traces from the first settlers arriving 11.000 years ago are found.
Trollfjell Geopark is located on the coast in the middle of Norway. It covers six municipalities: Brønnøy, Vega, Vevelstad, Sømna, Bindal (Nordland county) and Leka (Nord-Trøndelag county).
The Trollfjell Geopark boundary has been set to coincide with the municipal boundaries. Torghatten is approximately in the centre of the geopark and has the coordinates 65 23’ 898’’N and 12 05’ 385’’E.
Trollfjell Geopark covers an area of 10,082 km2, 6,763 km2 (67 %) of which is sea and 3,319 km2 (33 %) land. The area includes more than 12,000 islands and skerries.