This paper presents new marine evidence of Lateglacial and Holocene environmental changes in the western part of Limfjorden, and provides a review of the geological history/development of this part of northern Jylland, Denmark. Lateglacial clay without fossils is widespread in the region and is probably a glaciolacustrine deposit. Limfjorden began to form as a strait in the Early Holocene due to rising relative sea level and the oldest marine shells are dated to c. 9300 cal. years BP. We propose a new relative sea-level curve for the region based on new and published data, which appear to confirm that the relative sea-level change was not extremely rapid, which was suggested earlier. During the Mid-Holocene a wide connection existed from the western part of Limfjorden to the North Sea in the west and more narrow connections existed between Limfjorden and Skagerrak in the north. The marine fauna included several species that indicate warmer and more salty waters than at present. Gradually, the connections to the North Sea and Skagerrak closed due to long-shore sediment transport and deposition of aeolian sand combined with a fall in the relative sea level during the Middleto Late Holocene. During the Viking Age, 800-1050 CE (Common Era), the western connection to the North Sea was still open, but around 1200 CE it was closed by a coastal sandy barrier and the western part of Limfjorden became brackish. The coastal barrier was flooded on several occasions but soon formed again. After 1825 CE the western connection from Limfjorden to the North Sea has been maintained artificially.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima