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Gea Norvegica Geopark, a UNESCO European Geopark in Southern Norway

Programme:

  • Natural landscapes: The Kragerø Skjægrård, Limestone Questa, the Ra landscape (a large glacial marginal deposit of Younger Dryas age), the landscape of the Oslo rift plutons.
  • Geological highlights: The larvikite plutons, the Rognstranda unconformity and the Ra deposit.
  • Industry: Limestone mining and Larvikite quarrying.
  • Associated themes: Agriculture, food traditions, local salmon hunting traditions, archaeology, biodiversity etc.
  • Visit to local enterprises.
  • Geoconservation and maintenance of important geological sites.

Aims of the excursion to the Gea Norvegica Geopark:

The Gea Norvegica Geopark became a member of the European Geoparks Network, and the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network in Belfast in September 2006. So far Gea Norvegica Geopark is the only European Geopark in Scandinavia. The goals of this excursion are among others to demonstrate:
* What is a European Geopark / UNESCO Global geopark
* What is the European Geoparks Network
* How we have organized our geopark
* The main geological background for our geopark
* Traditions, culture and local enterprises within the geopark
* Public information at various sites
* Protection and conservation of geopark attractions

Itinerary.

(We keep the rights to eventually change some details if necessary)

Sunday August 3rd

Hour/

duration

Theme and place

Responsibility

0745

 

 

0800

Departure by bus from Oslo. Driving for about 1,5 hour to Lågendalen.

Kristin Rangnes

 

Brufoss, Lågendalen. Geopark highway entrance gates.

Sven Dahlgren

2 hours

Kjærra Fossepark, Lågendalen

 

The valley of Lågendalen was formed by glaciers during the Quaternary period. After the last glaciation the valley was a long fiord that was gradually uplifted above sea level. Now the valley is characterized by rich farmland adjacent to the river Lågen.

 

The eastern part of the geopark is located within the Carbono-Permian Oslo Rift which was characterized by volcanic and plutonic activity. The Kjærra area is a part of the large Vestfold lava plateau which to a large degree consists of certain lavas called “rhomb porphyries”.

 

The waterfall of Kjærra in the river Lågen is widely known for its salmon fisheries. It is popular among anglers, and is an outdoor museum where the local people demonstrate traditional salmon catching techniques. Usually salmon is abundant in early August at Kjærra. Provided that we have luck arriving at Kjærra simultaneously with the salmon coming up the river we will obtain a demonstration of traditional salmon catching.

 

Lunch at Kjærra

Salmon hunting/ traditions:

Lars W. Solheim

 

Geology:

Mona Holte and

Henrik Heyer

 

Bus to Larvik

 

 

Larvik museum. Larvikite and larvikite industry exhibition.

 

Larvikite is a world-famous ornamental stone, and the total world production originates within the geopark. We will be introduced to some parts of the geology and the history of the larvikite industry.

We will visit one of the active larvikite quarries during August 4th.

 

Refreshments.

 

 

Arnfinn Malme

and

Sven Dahlgren

 

Bus to Mølen

 

 

Mølen.

 

Younger Dryas Ice Marginal moraine. Mølen is a part of a circum-Scandinavian moraine formed during at halt in the retreating inland ice near the end of the last glaciation.

 

Mølen as a geopark out-door classroom. Education is an important aspect of the European Geoparks. This excursion is within the Norwegian school holiday, but geopark personnel will demonstrate elements used in teaching pupils.

 

Iron age grave field and history of the Viking battle at “Nesjar”.

 

Early Oslo rift melilitite-nephelinite volcanics. The volcanology, petrology and geochemistry of these higly unusual rock types will be demonstrated.

 

 

Mona Holte

 

 

 

Mona Holte and Kristin Rangnes

 

 

Local “Vikings”

 

Sven Dahlgren

 

 

Bus to Nevlunghavn. Coffee

 

 

Bus to hotel in Langesund

 

 

Dinner

 

1 hr

Presentation of the Gea Norvegica Geopark (power-point presentation)

Sven Dahlgren

 

Itinerary. Monday August 4th

Hour/

duration

Theme and place

Responsibility

0800

Departure from hotel in Langesund. 20 min walk.

 

1 hr

Steinvika nature reserve.

Ordovician limestones and fossils, and Carbono-Permian faults and sills.

Sven Dahlgren

Mona Holte

1,5 hr

Rognstranda. Non-conformity between Proterozoic gneisses and Cambrian-Ordovician sediments.

Sven Dahlgren

Mona Holte

2 hr

Brevik, Norcem. Limestone mine and cement factory.

Trond Kaasa

Sven Dahlgren

1,5 hr

Larvikite quarries. Moderen larvikite quarrying and production.

Reidar Løvaas

Sven Dahlgren

6 hr

Langesundsfjorden nepheline syenites and nepheline syenite pegmatites have been world famous for rare minerals for about 200 years. We will visit selected localities in the Langesundsfjorden skaergaard by boat.

Thorium. We will visit the spot where the element thorium and the mineral thorite were discovered for the first time. Additionally we will visit the island of Låven if the weather permits.

The rare mineral occurrences are protected by law, and the wardens from the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate will give the participants an introduction to their work within the geopark.

Skjærgårdstjenesten / Skjærgårdsparken have the reseponsibility of maintenance of the public coastal areas within the geopark, and

Sven Dahlgren

 

 

 

 

 

Reidar Strand, SNO.

 

Skjærgårdstjenest.

Ca 2100

Return to hotel in Langesund

 


Itinerary. Tuesday August 5th

Hour/

duration

Theme and place

Responsibility

0730

Departure from hotel in Langesund. Bus to Skien.

 

0800

The Telemark Canal. This is one of the major tourist attractions within the geopark. We will have a special boat transport from Skien up the Telemark canal via locks to Lake Norsjø (15 m a.s.l.).

 

 

We will visit Mikaelshula, a cave situated in the middle of a steep cliff on the shore of Lake Norsjø.

Sven Dahlgren

 

Boat continues on Lake Norsjø to Ulefoss

 

 

Øvre Verket, Ulefoss.

Local artists and production of local crafts.

 

 

Lunch

Kirsti Arvesen Nesheim

Morten Rask Arnesen

Jan Thorsen

 

Fen Carbonatite Complex. Fen is the world type locality of magmatic limestones, carbonatites. We will visit Søve and inspect the localities of soviet and fenite.

Sven Dahlgren

 

Bus to Skien

 

1600-1700

Ibsens Venstøp is the farm where the poet Henrik Ibsen grew up. Our program includes:

Ibsens natural landscape

 

Ibsens childhood at Venstøp, and some extracts from his poetry.

 

 

 

Sven Dahlgren

 

Tormod Aulebo

Henrik Berg Larsen

Jørgen Haave

1700-1900

Århus Iron age house

This reconstruction of an iron age house was raised by local enthusiasts. This concludes our visit to Gea Norvegica Geopark, and we will be “iron age guests” and enjoy traditional Norwegian food, “Spekemat” (i.e. the Viking way dried and salted meat of sheep and pork, and of course beer).

Ragnar Ols|en

Tormod Aulebo

Ca 1900

Bus to Oslo

Kristin Rangnes

Ca 2100

Arrival in Oslo

 

Photo: Øystein Nordgulen
Photo: Øystein Nordgulen