Unique geology

Svartbäcksmåla is located in the forest- and lake rich part of southeast Småland. (a province in the south of Sweden) Distinct ridges wind throughout the area, like the geologically interesting Nybro ridge. If you pay attention during spring you may see the beautiful arctic violet.


Mosippa – Photo: Jörgen Karlsson

Get spirited away

Listen to the landscape and let it tell you about the geological processes ever since the birth of the earth. Travel back in your mind to the prehistoric time around two billion years ago. Two continents collide with each other and a magnificent mountain range rises from the ground. The base of this nowadays worn down mountain is the foundation of the Swedish landscape and what we today stand and walk on. The bedrock is moving, melting together and solidifies in new formations. The granite in Nybro is born, 1690 million years before present day.

The ruler of the Ice Age

During the last million years, called a quaternary, cold and hot weather change constantly. Ice Ages switches with hot ice free phases. The landscape lies nonspectacular and gently rolling when the ruler of the Ica age enters, 115 000 years ago. The ice mass, sometimes 2000 meters thick, breaks off boulders from the mountains, picks up gravel and sand, crushes and mixes it.

18000 years ago the ice started to retreat and it changed into rivers of ice. The gushing meltwater finds new ways between the walls of the ice mass and it leaves loose materials in linear eskers (ridges) on the bottom of the ocean at the time. Nybroåsen (The Nybro ridge) is 70 km long and the largest ice river formation in the southeast of Sweden. By Hjortåsen (The deer ridge), south of the Nature Reserve, are some Giant’s kettles (large holes) and 1 km southeast of the ski slope the goat back shaped ridge called, “the old woman’s back”.

The Baltic ice lake

Between the ice front and the country in the south there is a pond. Huge amounts of meltwater flows into it and an ice lake is formed. It covers major parts of southern Sweden and if you stand by the OK-cabin at Svartbäcksmåla you find yourself by the shore of this ancient ice lake. The waves swelled over the shore, where rocks and boulders were exposed and rounded. The highest shore line of the ice lake in Nybro is 81 meters above sea level. This ice lake is a part of the evolution of the Baltic Sea.

Dying blocks of ice

Big blocks of ice were broken off the parent ice and were left laying behind. Moraine were by the sides of the blocks and founds its way inside them. Eventually the blocks of ice had to surrender to the heat. The only thing remaining of these blocks of ice are pits in the ground, called kettle holes. In Svartbäcksmåla there is a whole landscape with kettle holes.

A unique wedge of ice

Ice Age winters alternated with arctic summers. The frigidity cracked the ground and when the top soil temporarily was freed from the ground frost the soil fell down into the frozen cracks. During centuries a wedge is formed by new cracks and soil. Much later the unusually well-formed ice-wedge was discovered in the sand-pit by the OK-cabin. Today you can find a part of the ice-wedge in the lobby to the municipality house, where the piece has been preserved.

Iskilen i Svartbäcksmåla

The wedge of ice in Svartbäcksmåla – Photo: Jan Mikaelsson