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Environmental impacts of early metallurgy in Moshyttan: A study of one of Europe's oldest blast furnaces, using three lakes records in Nora bergslag
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to assess the environmental effects of Moshyttan, one of the earliest known blast furnaces in Europe (ca. 11th century). The study was based on the analysis of three lake records in the immediate surroundings of the smelter. Fickeln lies directly downstream and is the main recipient of waterborne pollution. Mosjökälla lies directly upstream and served as the main water reservoir for the water-powered bellows. Kramptjärnen lies 1 km to the NW in a separate catchment and acts as a reference. The data includes 31 elements analyzed by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), organic content inferred from loss on ignition (LOI), biogenic silica (BSi) modeled from Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IRS) for all lakes and diatom counts for Fickeln. Two other studies provided dating of slag from the smelter and pollen- and geochemical data from Fickeln. The results show that the metallurgy and associated activities (e.g. agriculture, forest grazing and charcoal production) led to eutrophication and alkalization in Fickeln. This is indicated by the diatom community that in the background is dominated by benthic genera indicative of oligotrophy and dystrophy (Frustilia, Brachisyra and Eunotia) that during the active smelter phase is replaced by pelagic genera indicative of eutrophy (Aulacoseira and Asterionella). BSi also decreases after smelter establishment, which speculatively could indicate an overall decrease in diatom production. At the same time, a suite of elements commonly associated with iron processing (Fe, Pb and Zn) increase in the sediment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
Diatoms, Biogenic silica, Geochemistry, Pre-industrial metallurgy, Environmental effects
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-64733OAI: diva2:602484
Subject / course
Examensarbete i Geovetenskap/naturgeografi avseende masterexamen
Educational program
Master's Programme in Geoecology
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2013-02-01 Created: 2013-02-01 Last updated: 2013-02-01Bibliographically approved

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