Langven Best older than assumed. In fact, quite a bit older, according to fieldwork done by two students of VU University Amsterdam. They drilled more than 40 holes in the subsurface at Langven and discovered its base layer was formed at the end of the last ice age: around 20,000 years ago.
Investigation substrate Langven
It was previously assumed that Langven was created in the Late Middle Ages by deforestation, overgrazing or stabbing heathland plains, after which the wind was given free rein on the sand. “That is only partly true,” says Rimbaud Lapperre. He has been involved with Langven as a volunteer for a long time. As a geohydrologist, he researches the waterflow in the subsurface. Because of his research at the VU he encountered both students. “They had to do a research into deck sand deposits and look for a suitable location. We immediately thought that Langven would be the right place. This substrate has never been investigated before. And then this surprising result came up!”
Langven 20,000 years old
When asked why he was so pleased with the result Rimbaud says: “10 years ago Langven was just a very small puddle of water. By cutting down planned trees, the fen could fill up again, as originally intended. It is of great value for the landscape and it also attracts many holidaymakers. The knowledge that the fen area was already formed 20,000 years ago gives an extra cachet to the whole.” Even more reason to ensure that it is preserved for future generations.
According to students of Earth Sciences Dominique Knip and Roan Brandon, fieldwork is something they look forward to all year round. “When it was decided we were going to investigate Langven, we booked an Airbnb about half an hour bike’s distance. The first ride we had to carry a bag of drilling material of at least 20 kilos of a meter and a half long. Once arrived in the field, the physical work, the drilling, began. Very intensive, but we looked forward to it every day. It’s nice to be in nature and sometimes even a deer came by. We would work on the data in the evening, sometimes till late at night. We made long days, but it was a very fun and educational experience.”
Twice a year an excursion to the Langven is organized; the next one is planned for the end of May / beginning of June. Check out Groeiend Best and the IVN Best site for the announcement.
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