Almost a billion years ago, the area of Magma Geopark was about 20 kilometers below the surface of the Earth. Hot magma at depth started to solidify and separate into a variety of rock types, some of which are layered. Storeknuten is a locality where you can see some of this layering in the largest layered intrusion in Western Europe.
Storeknuten (Duration: 1-3 hours)
The path to Storeknuten passes well-developed layering in rocks belonging to the Bjerkreim-Sokndal layered intrusion. Each of the layers represents the crystallization front which was located on the floor of the magma chamber 926 million years ago. While it was solidifying, pieces of the roof of the magma chamber fell off and sank to the floor where they became engulfed by the advancing crystallization front. These blocks of rock that have been “buried” in other rocks are called inclusions.
The lowest part of Storeknuten hill consists of rocks that weather easily and produce fertile soil. Because of this, the lowest part of the hill is covered with grass, moss and lichen. There is a knife-sharp contact between these weathered rocks and the overlying ones that are almost free of vegetation. This boundary is where new magma entered the chamber. This was the last major magma influx into the Bjerkreim-Sokndal intrusion. Before this magma started to crystallize there was a thickness of about 2500 meters of magma in the chamber.
From the top of Storeknuten there are wonderful views over the rural landscape and you can appreciate the size of this ancient magma chamber that stretches for about 40 from Sokndal in the southeast to Bjerkreim in the northwest.
From the main road (E39) turn south on FV 32 towards Eia. Follow the winding road up the hill and turn off towards Drange. Leave the car where a road (Dybingsveien) goes up hill to the right. Walk up Dybingsveien and proceed to the right of the concrete-based farm building. Contact Magma Geopark to find out more about the unique geology of the area with a specialised guide!