Geological Background for Agriculture
The area covered by the geopark can broadly be split into two main types of landscape separated by the MSL; sandy soil to the south and clay-rich moraine soil to the north. The hill islands in the outwash plains are included in the sandy soil area. The moraine landscapes between the MSL and Limfjord are dominated by undulating terminal moraines and dead ice landscapes characterised by small rounded hills and damp depressions. North of Limfjord the landscape consists dominantly of smoother basal moraine landforms. The geological background controlled the local natural resources that were available for agriculture as regards both cultivation systems and the development of settlements.
When agriculture came to Denmark in the younger Stone Age and up through the Bronze Age is was the areas with light soils that were utilized. This is very apparent in the strip of land on either side of the MSL. When ploughs with moul boards, the heavy wheeled ploughs, were available that could turn clay-rich soil, farming extended into areas with moraine soil. Towards the end of the Iron Age, and particularly during the Viking Age, an increase in the population meant that considerable areas of new land were cultivated. Homes and settlements became permanent and with the advent of Christianity and the building of churches the parishes and housing associations became organised. The present parish boundaries have, for the most part, remained unchanged since they were established and still exist in old land registers and church archives.