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Von Otterøya

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Von Otterøya is the third-lar­gest one out of the many islands in Hin­lo­pen Strait. The­re are two which are even lar­ger, Wil­hel­møya and Wahl­ber­gøya, which dif­fer mar­ked­ly in geo­lo­gy and land­s­cape from Von Otterøya and all the smal­ler islands in the area. Von Otterøya and the smal­ler ones are almost ent­i­re­ly com­po­sed of doleri­te, a mag­ma­tic rock type that coo­led down as an intru­si­on well below the sur­face of the earth. So it was not a sur­face vol­ca­no. The colum­nar struc­tu­re of the doleri­te is not as per­fect­ly well deve­lo­ped as that of clas­si­cal basalt, a rela­ted mag­ma­tic rock-type. But it is visi­ble also in doleri­tic cliffs.

As the smal­ler islands are all com­po­sed of doleri­te, they are most­ly qui­te simi­lar in terms of sce­ne­ry and geo­mor­pho­lo­gy. They are most­ly qui­te rocky, with coar­se blocks, low hills and small cliffs.

The­re are no gre­at heights. The hig­hest hill on Von Otterøya does not reach bey­ond 76 metres abo­ve sea level. All the smal­ler islands are even lower. The maxi­mum distance from coast to coast on Von Otterøya is a good 8 km, and it is actual­ly often less than 2 km in many pla­ces and direc­tions.

The land­s­cape is very bar­ren, the­re are only a few flowers. But the lichen flo­ra is often impres­si­ve and gives rock sur­faces a rather colou­red appearan­ce.

Level sur­faces often have well-deve­lo­ped seri­es of fos­sil beach rid­ges, and you can find remains of old whalebo­nes in many pla­ces inland.

Von Otterøya does not have much of human histo­ry bey­ond occa­sio­nal visits by expe­di­ti­ons such as the Swe­dish sec­tion of the Arc-de-Meri­di­an expe­di­ti­on (1899-1902).

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last modification: 2019-03-31 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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