Installing a seismic station in the childhood hom of a Nobelprize winner

“Hvor går dere hen? Det vet jeg ikke. I øst eller vest. Vi er vandrere” (Under høststjernen, 1906, Knut Hamsun)

Installing a seismic station in the childhood home of a Nobelprize winner

Northern Norway is currently covered by a large number of temporary seismic stations that belong to various institutions and projects under the ScanArray umbrella (Figure 1). The overall aim of the project is to better understand the Earth structure and the earthquake activity. Our department takes part in the NEONOR2 project that focsuses on the neotectonics in Nordland. As part of this, we (Andrea D., Felix H., Kathrin S., Ole M., Stephane R. and Lars O.) installed 15 temporary seismic stations around the Lofoten and Vesterålen and on the mainland north of Bodø. For more information about the project see link, or contact Lars Ottemöller. The station installation was done in four parts. During one of the weeks in October, we installed the five stations north of Bodø. The week started with snow and minus temperatures with a record of -21°C on the way through Nordland. But the season changed fast during this week from winter back to autumn, and we could enjoy the beautiful landscape, majestic flying eagles, and deer. Preferably, seismic stations are installed in quiet places away from anything, but during temporary deployments, one has to compromomise and the basement of a building becomes a good choice. One of our contacts in Nordland showed us a former farm house at the border of a small, neat village as location for one of the stations. We were quite impressed when we got to know that the building was the childhood home of a Norwegian literature Nobelprize winner – Knut Hamsun. After installing the station, we used the opportunity for cultural enlightment and visited the Hamsunsenteret (see link), a modern museum dealing with the life of Knut Hamsun providing a balanced view between his writing and dubious political past, with lovely arranged exhibition pieces, and interviews with other writers and historians. During the week we drove over 700 km to ensure a good distribution of the seismic stations. The data recorded by the stations installed will be analysed in the next years to receive insight into the local-scale stress field.
Text: Lars Ottemöller & Kathrin Spieker
Photos: Kathrin Spieker
Link1: www.geo.uib.no/seismo/eworkshop/index.php?n=Main.NEONOR-2
Link2: www.hamsunsenteret.noimpressions