A BRIEF HISTORY
Since the end of the XIX century an interest in the crater phenomena has increased significantly. In those days craters were considered the result of volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. This belief was shared by Per Thorslund who discovered the Lockne Crater. He cycled through Jämtland in order to map bedrock and discovered rocks in Lockne which he had never seen before. There was something strange about these rocks which led him to believe that a terrible natural disaster, most probably an earthquake, must have taken place a long time ago. It was before the Apollo project and subsequent lunar mission in the 1960´s that scientists began to study these craters. These studies indicated that the rocks must have been reshaped in a process known as metamorphism. This action had to be a result of meteorites, i.e. stones from space. There are currently between 200 and 300 of these craters on Earth.
Professor Maurits Lindström and his team were exploring the area around Lockne Lake in the 1970´s. By using digging and deep drilling techniques they concluded with certainty that this lake was indeed a crater lake. A meteorite with a circumferences of 500 metres struck Earth approximately 455 milion years ago. The impact zone was close to the equator which is where Sweden was located at that time. The subsequent, extremely hot, tsunami scattered rocked and debris from the sea floor over a wide area and caused them to congregate and form unique rocks which we can now find as well preserved traces of this event in the area.
The animated film you can watch at our museum details the meteorites size and the magnitude of its impact.
There are not many craters older than 200 milion years and only few of them are known to be under the water. That´s what makes the Lockne crater so unique and well known by geologists throughout the world.
Approximately ten years ago Pr
ofessor Lindström inaugurated a geology rout in Tandsbyn.
This trail gives visitors the chance to see the geological phenomenon surrounding the lake and he thought the local community should make this area a big attraction.
This statement attracted the interest of the Local Heritage Movement which, on the initiative of Chairman Harald Olsson, decided that this site not only appeals to geologists, but also local residents, tourists and young people. A great deal of voluntary input in combination with sponsorship provided by the Swedish Enviromental Protection Agency, Östersund Council, the County Administrative Board and Local Authorites as well as various foundations and individuals made this dream reality.
The museum was completed in June, 2006 although, as history is never final, the museums development is ongoing.
80 % of the area surrounding the impact zone is unexplored. Both geologists and biologists continue to carry their research in order to try to establish when plants and animals began to return after the meteorite struck Earth.
We hope that this brief historical summary will inspire studies of the beautiful local nature. One cannot, after a visit, draw any other conclusion that even an inconspicous grey stone carries with it a fascinating story detailing its past.
Pherhaps you would like to explore the surrounding yourself? If this is the case please visit the crater trail in the village of Tandsbyn. The trail is approximately 1.8 kilometres long and there are information boards indicating places of interest as well as a viewing tower and suitable places to stop for a break.