Late Quaternary stratigraphy and morphogenesis in the Danish eastern North Sea and its relation to onshore geology

Birger Larsen, L.T. Andersen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

13 Citationer (Scopus)


Geological structures and Late Quaternary stratigraphy of the shallow subsurface along the southernmost Danish North Sea coast have been investigated using seismic data and shallow boreholes. A large-scale glaciotectonic thrust complex has been mapped in an area of 15 km by 40 km in the Fanø Bugt area. The affected succession consists of Neogene and Quaternary sediments deformed down to a depth of 200 - 360 m. A kinetostratigraphic correlation to onshore glaciotectonic deformation suggests that the deformation took place during a westward advance stage of the Late Saalian (Warthe) glaciation. The western limit of the glaciotectonic structures constitutes an N-S striking deformation front situated 35 km off the west coast. Based on the glacial stratigraphy outside the deformation front, it is suggested that the same ice advance that caused the glaciotectonic deformation, eroded the top of the thrust sheets, and subsequently deposited a lower unit of meltwater sediments and an upper heterogenous glacigenic unit. The upper glacigenic unit forms a bank about 30 km offshore. Between the bank and the shore, the surface of the Saalian glacial landscape forms a wide depression ca. 50 m below sea level. This basin has controlled deposition in the area since the late Saalian and is filled with sediments of late Saalian, Eemian, Weichselian and Holocene age. The base of the Holocene marine deposits is thus a flat erosional surface extending eastward several kilometres below the onshore coastal areas and the northern Wadden Sea. This surface was transgressed 8800 years ago. An inverted, in plan view T-shaped, Holocene sand accumulation approximately 25 km long, 30 km wide and 15 - 25 m thick is situated on top of this surface at Blåvands Huk. According to recent estimates by the Danish Coastal Protection Board some 2.5 million m 3 sediments are supplied annually to the system from the north. In the last 3000 years, 25 km of the west coast and the associated shoreface slope have prograded ca. 3 km towards the west forming a barrier spit complex. Large aeolian dunes and cover sands now conceal the spit complex. Extending twenty km west of Blåvands Huk is a highly dynamic bank, the Inner Horns Rev, with active sand-accumulation on the slopes. The Inner Horns Rev bank has grown ca. 3.5 km westward during the last 800 years. The deposits seem to be sourced by the coastal longshore sand transport from the north. The Outer Horns Rev was previously assumed to be a Saalian terminal moraine. However, this investigation reveals that it is also mainly a Holocene marine accumulation landform, but sourced from the west. Other sand accumulations, which are situated 20 - 30 km west of the coast, are probably sourced from both the south and the west.

Sider (fra-til)113-128
Antal sider16
TidsskriftGeologie en Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences
Udgave nummer2
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2005


  • Programområde 5: Natur og klima


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