Numerous groundwater springs in the Hedmarksvidda area are related to ice marginal deposits from the Early Holocene. The spring aquifers are small and consist of coarse glacial sediments. The bedrock consists of Late Precambrian conglomerates, sandstones and shales. Oxygen isotope composition indicates a short residence time; a few weeks to a couple of months. The groundwater has low ion contents, due to the short transit time and because the glacial sediments of the spring aquifers are formed mainly by material from conglomerates and coarse-grained arkosic sandstones. The vegetation surrounding the springs is typical for cold water with a low nutrient content. Mountain farms and cottages are frequently located near springs, and sheep and other herbivorous mammals are attracted to the areas with spring herbs. The discharge from the springs controls the surface stream base-flows, which are significant and stable during the winter time, but much less than what is measured during the period May-September. The mountain springs are important for the local hydrology and for maintaining the ecosystem of the area.
S. Haldorsen, J.-0. Englund, Institute of Soil Sciences, Agricultural University of Norway, P.O. Box 5028, N-1432 Ås-NLH, Norway;
L. A. Kirkhusmo, Geological Survey of Norway, P.O. Box 3006 Lade, N-7002 Trondheim, Norway.