The timing of the flooding of the Danish/German/Swedish straits and the first marine influence in the Baltic Basin after the Ancylus Lake stage has been much debated. Here we present 47 new radiocarbon ages from sediment cores retrieved from Danish waters, ages that record the marine transgression of the area. Most of the ages are based on shells of marine molluscs, hence the ages are uncertain because we do not know the precise reservoir age in the past. We use a reservoir age of 400 years, which is based on dating of museum specimens collected live before testing of nuclear bombs. It appears from the ages that the Great Belt (Storebælt) was inundated before The Sound (Øresund). The oldest ages on marine shells from the northern part of the Great Belt region are about 8.9 cal. ka BP. From the central part of the Great Belt, the oldest ages are about 8.2 cal. ka BP, in Mecklenburg Bay 8.1 cal. ka BP and in the Arkona Basin 7.1 cal. ka BP. Sediments deposited prior to the occurrence of marine molluscs contain brackish-water ostracods (Cyprideis torosa and Cytheromorpha fuscata); the sediments are usually laminated and non-bioturbated mud. The brackish-water phase may have lasted 500–1000 years. The youngest lake deposits without signs of marine influence are dated to c. 8.8 cal. ka BP (central Great Belt), 8.7 cal. ka BP (Little Belt) and 8.5 cal. ka BP (Arkona Basin). We see no evidence for marine influence at c. 10 cal. ka BP as recorded by some studies from the Baltic Basin.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima