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.
On the east side of Lake Skjelbreidvatnet, clearly visible along the road from Eikelandsosen, we notice a farm on a terrace above a grassy hill. The hill has the form of a broad shield; Skjelbreid (" Broad Shield") is the name of the farm.
Bays that are shallow far out into the sea, with fine sand and clay, are rare in Hordaland. Where they are found, the reason is usually that the edge of the glacier made smaller advances or stopovers when it calved back at the end of the last Ice Age. This is what happened at Vinnesleira.
At Fruo, nature has built its own little "Chinese wall ". Some kilometers south of the Vøringsfossen waterfall, there are a number of moraine ridges, the longest and most notable of their kind in Hordaland.
The Eidfjord terrace is a gigantic ridge that reaches up more than one hundred metres from the city centre in Eidfjord. It serves as a powerful natural monument left behind by the ice when it retreated.
They rest there, all as one, the silent witnesses of Western Norway's saga of creation: Precambrian basement, phyllite and thrust sheet. In the end came the glaciers and sculptured the vast landscape. Along the ground or on the horizon, from bicycle or on foot - the landscape tells its story - and it tells it clearer on Rallarvegen than many other places.
The ice cap that covered the land during each of the 40 past ice ages over the past 2 million years of Earth's history pressed down the crust of the earth - like a finger on a rubber ball. And when the ice finally loosened its grip 11,000 years ago, the earth's crust rose again, most where the ice was thickest, least where it was thin, quickly in the beginning, and later more slowly. To this day, the land in the inner part of Norway continues to rise by perhaps one millimetre per year. By and large, however, the crust in Hordaland has again reached equilibrium after the weight of the ice was removed.
The shift in the landscape is striking between the barren craggy moors north on Askøy and the green fields of Herdla, which has the county's biggest farm. The majority of Herdla, such as the island appears today, is a gift from the glacier: The glacier that advanced here over 12,000 years ago stopped at the northern tip of Askøy and took its time building up the moraine on Herdla. Since then, Herdla has been under continual transformation. The re-organisation of the loose sediment deposits continues today.