The hydrogeological and cultural background for two sacred springs, Bø, Telemark County, Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionKlempe, H. The hydrogeological and cultural background for two sacred springs, Bø, Telemark County, Norway. Quatenary International. 2015, 368:31-42 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2014.10.048
Of the many sacred springs in Norway, most dedicated to St. Olav, several have disappeared. Two of the sacred springs that still exist are located in Bø in Telemark, Southern Norway, and have been surveyed for their sedimentology and hydrology. The springs are embedded in a cultural landscape with several ancient monuments. The aquifers have been mapped by drilling, monitoring wells, and ground penetrating radar and analyzed by GIS models. The area is at the marine limit and most of the sediments have been deposited in the sea. The aquifer of the first spring occurs in subglacial and submarine sediments covered by a series of moraines. The aquifer of the other spring is above the confining till layer, bounded by moraines and located inside a 20 m thick glacial delta deposit. Both aquifers have documented properties that produce springs which under normal climatic conditions never dry and show stable temperatures close to the yearly mean air temperature. The residence time of the water is long for both of the aquifers. Both springs are point features and are not parts of large seepage faces. The locations of the springs may indicate a sacred position in an area of prehistoric farmland, Iron Age burial mounds, stone monuments of unknown age, and cup mark carvings. The springs are contaminated from old landfills, but are reverting, and one of them is under threat from sand pit expansion.