The Scandinavian Peninsula occupies part of the Baltic Shield, a stable and large crust segment of very old crystalline metamorphic rocks. In the southern part of the peninsula the glaciers deposited vast numbers of terminal moraines,configuring a very chaotic landscape. These terminal moraines covered all of what in now Denmark.
During the Ice Ages,the sea level of the Atlantic dropped so much that the Baltic Sea,the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland disappeared,and the countries now surrounding them, including Germany, Poland, the other Baltic countries and Scandinavia were directly joined by land.
The weight of nearly 4 kilometers of ice during the Ice Ages caused all of the Scandinavian terrain to sink. When the ice disappeared, the shield rose again. Conversly the southern part has tended to sink to compensate, causing the flooding of the Low Countries and Denmark.
To understand the geology of Scandinavia we must go back 500 million years. Northern Europe and Scandinavia were previously one continent called BALTICA.positioned south of the equator.approximately where South Africa is found today.
Over millions of years Baltica drifted northwards (continental drift) until reaching its present locality. Some of the stone formations of this continent are 3 500 million years old-nearly the same age as the earth. The oldest are found in Northern Finland and the Kola-Peninsula in Russia.
The stones found along the coastline in Northern Germany and Denmark come from Baltica (Scandinavia) and tell us about the ICE AGE.
THE ICE AGE
There have been at least five major ice ages in the Earth's past. The last glacial period was the most recent within the current ice age occuring during the last years of the Pleistocene, from approximately 110 000 to 15 000 years ago.
The maximum extent of glaciation was approximately 18 000 years ago. The Scandinavian ice sheet reached the northern parts of the British Isles, Germany, Poland and Russia, extending as far east as the Taimyr Peninsula in western Siberia.
The Baltic Sea is a result of meltwater from the Weichsel glaciation combining with saltwater from the North Sea when the straits between Sweden and Denmark opened. The marine life of the Baltic Sea is less than 4000 years old.
As a result of melting ice,the land has continued to rise yearly in Scandinavia - in Sweden and Finland as much as 1 meter in 100 years. Although the last glacial period ended more than 8 000 years ago its effects can still be seen today. The erratic boulders,till,drumlins,fjords,etc, are typical features left behind by the glaciers.
Over 115.000 years ago it began to snow abundantly. even during the summer the snow did not melt. As the pressure mounted.snow turned into ice and formed Glaciers approximately 4 km high. The extreme weight caused them to start drifting southwards. They abraded and plucked huge quantities of rocks and transported them from Finland,Norway,Sweden,Denmark,Estland, the Baltic Sea area and surrounding islands towards the south.
When the climate warmed and the ice started melting(10 000 years ago) the stones in the form of terminal moraines,eskers,drumlins and glacier erratics were deposited.The variety of rock is vast,approximately 300 types have been identified and classified but many more lie on the beaches waiting to be identified. Over time many of these stones were grounded down to sand by the powerful waves,large boulders,fist size stones and pebbles rounded by the action of the waves.
There are hundreds of glacial erratics to be seen along the coastline or inland in northern Europe and Scandinavia.
The weight and size of the stones demonstrate the power and size of the mighty glaciers.