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Book Chapter

Natural History and Cultural Background

Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

The vegetation in the excursion area varies between occasional wooded-tundra in sheltered low-lying areas and tundra in exposed and upland areas. Clitter, consisting of angular, up to meter-sized loose blocks of the directly underlying lithology, is typical of upland areas, especially where underlain by quartzites/sandstones.

The most common tree is the birch (Betula spp.). This can grow to several tens of meters high, although in windy areas, it is completely stunted, with no height, but a very thin “stem” (<1 cm) that may have a lateral extent of several meters. Pine trees (Pinus sylvestris) are rare because they have all been cut down, not because the conditions are too extreme. Willow (Salix spp.) and less often alder (Alnus sp.), poplar (Populus sp.), and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) trees are also present. There are several species of Salix, but these produce a large array of hybrids, so identifying true “species” is extremely difficult. Low juniper bushes (Juniperus communis) occur on well-drained ground, frequently growing over deep holes between boulders; it is, therefore, dangerous to stand on.

On dry gritty slopes, especially below outcrops of the Nyborg and Mortensnes Formations on the north side of Varangerfjord, the unusual ferns Botrychium lunaria (Fig. 10A) and rarely Botrychium boreale grow. Nyserot (Veratrum album; Fig. 10B) is an extremely poisonous lily that is found only in the Tana-West Varangerfjord region and in the Alpine-Apennine-Carpathian region of Central Europe. In contrast, common scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis; Fig. 10C), which grows in salty

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Contents

GSA Field Guide

Neoproterozoic Glacial and Associated Facies in the Tanafjord-Varangerfjord Area, Finnmark, North Norway

A.H.N. Rice
A.H.N. Rice
Department of Geodynamics and Sedimentology University of Vienna Althanstrasse 14 1090 Vienna Austria
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Marc B. Edwards
Marc B. Edwards
3420 Yoakum Blvd Houston, Texas 77006 USA
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T.A. Hansen
T.A. Hansen
Talisman Energy Norge AS Verven 4 PO Box 649 Stavanger Norway
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Geological Society of America
Volume
26
ISBN electronic:
9780813756264
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

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