Hadde ikkje Hardangerfjordbreen mot slutten av istida rykt fram over fjordbotnen, ville Halsnøy ikkje eksistert som éi øy, men som mange småøyar. Breen skuva framfor seg så mykje leire frå havbotnen at Brattåsen, Toftåsen, Landåsen og Svartaberg vart samla i eitt landområde.
Ølve has a special soil type. Here one finds an extra hard clay soil. This is especially noticed by those who work with excavating for building foundations and the like. Often it is necessary to use especially big digging machines and sometimes even dynamite in order to break up the compact masses. The reason for this is the growth of the glaciers toward the end of the Ice Age: The clay, that was first deposited in front of the glacier, came under great pressure when the glacier later grew and slid out over the clay.
Much of the sand and gravel that the town of Etne is built on was laid down at the end of the Ice Age and is evidence of melting glaciers and roaring meltwater rivers. The uncompacted material in the big terraces leave their unmistakeable mark on the wide elongated valleys.
The deep agricultural soils in Fitjar are found especially in the area between Lake Storavatnet and Breivika. The many stonewalls in the area reflect that the earth probably was full of stones and stone blocks. The stones that couldn't be dug out had also a function: they stored heat that helped to grow potatoes.
Mountain plants with their beautiful, colourful flowers are common in high altitude areas in Norway. On the coast there are not so many of them. But, here and there one nonetheless finds mountain plants, and this makes some coastal mountainsides a little bit different. Perhaps the growth on these mountainsides gives us a little glimpse of a distant past?
The majority of Huglo is bare rock. A bit of dwarf pine forest is the only vegetation able to put down roots. Along the west- and east sides, to the contrary, the landscape is unusually green and lush. The reason lies both in the bedrock and in the ice that covered the area 12 000 years ago.
One of the biggest black alder forests in the country is in Hystadmarkjo. Along the well prepared trail through the forest you can experience an exceptional nature with an unusual abundance of exuberant plant species. But what has laid the foundation for this richness?
In Skånevik there are marks left from the ice edge that advanced during the thousand-year cold spell (Younger Dryas) that marked the end of the Ice Age roughly 11 500 years ago. The glacier first proceeded out into Åkra Fjordand and around Vannes and thereafter sent an arm in toward Skånevik. Here, the glacier lay down an end moraine up against the mountainside.