Polished rock-faces and boulder strewn moraine fields
The Park is surrounded by mighty mountaintops. Istind (851 m) marks the Park’s northernmost point. To the west is the distinctive, rugged Kvænan (964 m), the Park’s highest peak and the second-highest mountain on Senja island. South of Selfjorden, are the impressive Luten and Grinda, whilst also toward the south is Jøvikfjellet. In the centre of the Park is the striking Kolkjerka (745 m).
Gjeska in its autumn colours. Photo: Andre Bonotto
Kvænan. Photo: Olaf Berger
Photo 1. Gjeska in its autumn colours. Photo: Andre Bonotto. Photo 2. Kvænan. Photo: Olaf Berger.
Northern Lights dancing. Photo: Andre Bonotto
Alpine landscape. Photo: Olaf Berger.
Photo 1. Northern Lights dancing. Photo: Andre Bonotto. Photo 2. Alpine landscape. Photo: Olaf Berger.
It is Ånderdalen’s underlying geological diversity that forms the basis for both the landscape forms and biological diversity of the Park. The bedrock type is granite, formed 1.7 billion years ago. Whilst there are mainly polished peaks in the mountains, the lower regions and valleys are strewn with the jumbled debris of material deposited there by the glacial ice. Along the shorelines of lakes Kapervatnet and Åndervatnet there are moraine-fields with large erratic boulders. The islets of Åndervatnet (lake) are also covered in such moraine debris. Mounds of moraine mass are typical for slow-moving glaciers. South of Åndervatnet you can also see many canyons, of which the deepest cuts down 40 m below the ground.
Lakes and tributaries
In the Park there are several lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and rapids The largest waterway begins in the furthest northern reaches, travels south through Kapervatnet (lake) via a narrow ravine to Åndervatnet (lake). The lake has its outlet in the Ånderelva (river) which gushes and tumbles through Ånderdalen. The Holmeelva (river) tributary joins the Ånderelva before its mouth at Tranøybotn. The lakes of Rundvatnet, Langvatnet and Sørvatnet empty into the river of Gjeskaelva. At the top end of Gjeskaelva there is a waterfall of over 60 m. There is also an impressive waterfall in the lower reaches of the river Tverrelva, which feeds from Kvænvatnet (lake). Together with the river of Sørelva, the lakes of Langvatnet, Lutvatnet and Selfjordvatnet form the watersystem of Selfjord.
One of several waterfalls in Ånderdalen. Photo: Rikki Martin Langnes
Frozen peat bog. Photo: Rikki Martin Langnes
Wetland landscape. Photo: Rikki Martin Langnes
Photo 1. Frozen peat bog. Photo: Rikki Martin Langnes. Photo 2. Wetland landscape. Photo: Rikki Martin Langnes
Mires and Wetlands
The expansive peatlands and high humidity of the surrounding area is typical for coastal regions with a westerly aspect such as that of Senja. There is a myriad of different wetland formations from ‘fathomless peat holes’ and swampy boglands, to fenlands.