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  • 1.
    Bindler, Richard
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Karlsson, Jon
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Rydberg, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Karlsson, Björn
    Berg Nilsson, Lena
    Biester, Harald
    Segerström, Ulf
    Copper-ore mining in Sweden since the pre-Roman Iron Age: lake-sediment evidence of human activities at the Garpenberg ore field since 375 BCE2017In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, ISSN 2352-409X, E-ISSN 2001-1199, Vol. 12, p. 99-108Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Historical documents, archaeological evidence and lake-sediment records indicate thus far that significant mining of iron and copper ores in the Berglsagen mining region in central Sweden did not begin until the late 12th century -first with iron in Norberg - and thereafter spreading rapidly throughout the region during the 13th century when also copper was included (e.g. Falun). Prior to this, iron was produced domestically from secondary sources such as bog iron, while geochemical analyses of bronze artefacts indicate copper was imported. The parish of Garpenberg was at the intersection between historical iron-and copper-mining districts, and consequently we expected our sediment record from the lake Gruvsjon ('mine lake') to follow the established 13th century development. However, a 2-3-fold enrichment in copper and lead occurred already during 375-175 BCE (pre-Roman Iron Age), together with small increases in zinc, magnesium and charcoal particles, and changes in pollen. Together these indicate a clear pattern of human disturbance connected with the ore body bordering the lake. A second distinct phase occurred 115-275 CE, but with an 8-9-fold increase in copper and lead along with other indicators. From 400 CE a permanent increase in copper and lead occurred, which then accelerated from the 13th century as seen elsewhere in the region. Our results push back the evidence for early ore mining in Sweden from the Middle Ages to the pre-Roman Iron Age. 

  • 2.
    Bindler, Richard
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Yu, Ruilian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. College of Chemical Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, Fujian 361021, P.R. China.
    Hansson, Sophia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Classen, Neele
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Karlsson, Jon
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Mining, Metallurgy and the Historical Origin of Mercury Pollution in Lakes and Watercourses in Central Sweden2012In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 46, no 15, p. 7984-7991Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Central Sweden an estimated 80% of the lakes contain fish exceeding health guidelines for mercury. This area overlaps extensively with the Bergslagen ore region, where intensive mining of iron ores and massive sulfide ores occurred over the past millennium. Although only a few mines still operate today, thousands of mineral occurrences and mining sites are documented in the region. Here, we present data on long-term mercury pollution in 16 sediment records from 15 lakes, which indicate that direct release of mercury to lakes and watercourses was already significant prior to industrialization (<AD 1800). Thirteen of our lakes show increases in mercury from 3-fold-equivalent to the enrichment factor in many remote lakes today-to as much as 60-fold already during the period AD 1500-1800, with the highest values in the three lakes most closely connected to major mines. Although the timing and magnitude of the historical increases in mercury are heterogeneous among lakes, the data provide unambiguous evidence for an incidental release of mercury along with other mining metals to lakes and watercourses, which suggests that the present-day problem of elevated mercury concentrations in the Bergslagen region can trace its roots back to historical mining.

  • 3.
    Karlsson, Jon
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Berg, Anna
    Naturliga arkiv avslöjar äldsta gruvhistorien i Gladhammar2012In: Västerviks historia: Förhistoria och arkeologi 1 / [ed] Olof Nimhed, Veronica Palm, Västervik: Västerviks museum , 2012, p. 295-302Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 4.
    Karlsson, Jon
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Rydberg, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Segerström, Ulf
    Nordström, Eva-Maria
    Thöle, Philine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Biester, Harald
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Tracing a bog-iron bloomery furnace in an adjacent lake-sediment record in Ängersjö, central Sweden, using pollen and geochemical signals2016In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 25, no 6, p. 569-581Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies of bloomery sites in Sweden indicate the amount of iron produced with this early low-technology smelter was greater than previously thought, which implies greater economic importance. Little is known about the history of bloomery technology, not least the timeframe over which individual bloomeries were operated, as well as their impact on the landscape because of resource consumption and pollution. In this study we performed pollen and geochemical analyses of the lake-sediment record from Rortjarnen, which is 120 m from the remains of a documented bloomery [one radiocarbon date: ad 1300-1435 (1 sigma)], in A"ngersjo, Halsingland. A surface-soil transect shows a limited geochemical signal only within 20 m of the bloomery, and the sediment pollen record provides little direct evidence of an active bloomery and is consistent with other studied sites in the area linked to forest grazing or cultivation. Instead, we find major changes in sediment geochemistry during ad 800-1200, centered on a unique peak in Pb at ad 1030-1060. These changes include, e.g., Si (biogenic) and P, together with changes in pollen (e.g., Betula, Picea, Cyperaceae), which together indicate disturbance in the forest and especially the adjoining fen. We attribute these changes to a period of bloomery-related activities predating the radiocarbon date of the charcoal from the bloomery, and suggest that date represents a late phase for the site.

  • 5.
    Karlsson, Jon
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Segerström, Ulf
    Berg, Anna
    Mattielli, Nadine
    Bruxelles, Belgium.
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Tracing modern environmental conditions to their roots in early mining, metallurgy, and settlement in Gladhammar, southeast Sweden: Vegetation and pollution history outside the traditional Bergslagen mining region2015In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 25, no 6, p. 944-955Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present results from a multidisciplinary project using lake sediment as a natural archive in combination with archaeology to investigate the earliest history of the Gladhammar mining area, southeastern Sweden. The aim was to identify and trace human impacts on the landscape, specifically in connection with settlement and metal production. Sediment records from two lakes linked to different processes in metal production were analyzed; Tjursbosjon down-slope of the mining area and Hyttegol situated downstream of an excavated blast furnace, 1.8km from the mines. The sediment analyses included multi-element geochemistry (WD-XRF), stable lead isotopes, pollen, and charcoal. Although historical documents record activities beginning in AD 1526, the archaeological study found indications that mining and metal production likely predated this period. The known historical period is well reflected in the sediment records, such as a 500-fold increase in copper, stream erosion, loss of forest cover and an expansion in agriculture. More importantly, already in the 12th-13th centuries, there was a 2- to 10-fold increase in lead, copper, and charcoal particles and evidence of erosion linked to the establishment of a blast furnace. Lead isotopes reveal a change from natural conditions to an input of lead from regional ores as early as the 9th-10th centuries. Settlement in the form of agriculture can be seen from 2000 BP. This sediment evidence of early mining or metallurgy during the 9th-15th centuries is supported by a few radiocarbon dates from the excavated mining fields, which on their own were considered as vague or improbable outliers by archaeologists.

  • 6.
    Rydberg, Johan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Karlsson, Jon
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Nyman, Roger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Wanhatalo, Ida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Näthe, Kerstin
    Institute of Environmental Geology (IUG), Technical University of Braunschweig, Post Box 3329, D-38023 Braunschweig, Germany.
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Importance of vegetation type for mercury sequestration in the northern Swedish mire, Rödmossamyran:  2010In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, ISSN 0016-7037, E-ISSN 1872-9533, Vol. 74, no 24, p. 7116-7126Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Even if mires have proven to be relatively reliable archives over the temporal trends in atmospheric mercury deposition, there are large discrepancies between sites regarding the magnitude of the anthropogenic contribution to the global mercury cycle. A number of studies have also revealed significant differences in mercury accumulation within the same mire area. This raises the question of which factors, other than mercury deposition, affect the sequestration of this element in peat. One such factor could be vegetation type, which has the potential to affect both interception and retention of mercury. In order to assess how small-scale differences in vegetation type can affect mercury sequestration we sampled peat and living plants along three transects on a northern Swedish mire. The mire has two distinctly different vegetation types, the central part consists of an open area dominated by Sphagnum whereas the surrounding fen, in addition to Sphagnum mosses, has an understory of ericaceous shrubs and a sparse pine cover. A few main patterns can be observed in our data; (1) Both peat and Sphagnum-mosses have higher mercury content (both concentration and inventory) in the pine-covered fen compared to the open Sphagnum area (100% and 71% higher for peat and plants, respectively). These differences clearly exceed the 33% difference observed for lead-210, which is considered as a good analogue for atmospheric mercury deposition. (2) The differences in mercury concentration between peat profiles within a single vegetation type can largely be attributed to differences in peat decomposition. (3) When growing side by side in the open Sphagnum area, the moss species Sphagnum subsecundum has significantly higher mercury concentrations compared to S. centrale (24 ± 3 and 18 ± 2 ng Hg g−1, respectively). Based on these observations we suggest that species composition, vegetation type and decomposition can affect the mercury sequestration in a peat record, and that any changes in these properties over time, or space, have the potential to modify the mercury deposition signal recorded in the peat.

  • 7.
    Serikova, Svetlana
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Pokrovsky, O. S.
    Laudon, H.
    Krickov, I. , V
    Lim, A. G.
    Manasypov, R. M.
    Karlsson, Jon
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    High carbon emissions from thermokarst lakes of Western Siberia2019In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 10, article id 1552Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Western Siberia Lowland (WSL), the world's largest permafrost peatland, is of importance for understanding the high-latitude carbon (C) cycle and its response to climate change. Warming temperatures increase permafrost thaw and production of greenhouse gases. Also, permafrost thaw leads to the formation of lakes which are hotspots for atmospheric C emissions. Although lakes occupy similar to 6% of WSL, lake C emissions from WSL remain poorly quantified. Here we show high C emissions from lakes across all permafrost zones of WSL. The C emissions were especially high in shoulder seasons and in colder permafrost-rich regions. The total C emission from permafrost-affected lakes of WSL equals similar to 12 +/- 2.6 Tg C yr(-1) and is 2-times greater than region's C export to the Arctic coast. The results show that C emission from WSL lakes is a significant component in the high-latitude C cycle, but also suggest that C emission may decrease with warming.

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