Geology of Sweden

Sweden is part of the Fennoscandian Shield, an area of old crystalline and metamorphic rocks, consolidated during hundreds of millions of years. Common rocks are gneiss, granite, granodiorite, sandstone and marble. The overburden is mainly formed by numerous periods of glaciation and deglaciation. The most common soil type is till, covering about 75 % of the landscape.

The Swedish landscape is full of variety and has been shaped by dramatic events in its geological history such as earthquakes, volcanism and glaciations. The bedrock and the composition of the soil cover and their geological history have largely shaped the natural conditions and the landscape as it is today, as well as the natural resources that are available to us.

This geological history is by no means over. Natural processes continue all the time, albeit slowly. The landscape we see today is a mosaic of shapes originating from different periods, from the oldest rocks, which were formed about three billion years ago, to the most recent deposits, which are still being formed.

Understanding the landscape surrounding us is necessary to make it possible to use our natural resources in a sustainable manner and to mitigate the effects of our interference with nature.


Last reviewed 2020-09-22