A late Oligocene molluscan fauna and Oligocene coastal outcrops from Vilsund, NW Denmark

Kai Ingemann Schnetler, Henrik Madsen, Kasia K. Śliwińska, Claus Heilmann-Clausen, Kaare Ulleberg

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A rich late Oligocene molluscan fauna from a coastal cliff at Vilsund on the island of Mors, Jylland, Denmark, was studied. A summary of the upper Palaeogene sedimentary sequence in NW Jylland is given and lithostratigraphical and biostratigraphical correlations are suggested. The molluscan fauna contains 120 species, and the nonmolluscs are briefly mentioned. The new species  Mitromorpha (Mitrolumna) danica n. sp. and Cerithiopsis vilsundensis n. sp. are established. Mitromorpha (Mitrolumna) danica n. sp. is the first representative of the gastropod genus Mitromorpha Carpenter, 1865 and subgenus Mitrolumna Bucquoy, Dautzenberg & Dollfus, 1883 from the Cenozoic of Denmark. Eubela (s. lat.) zetes (Kautsky, 1925) represents the oldest record of the genus Eubela Dall, 1889. Andersondrillia Schnetler & Beyer, 1990 is considered to be a junior synonym of Benthomangelia Thiele, 1925. The bivalve genus Cubiostrea  Sacco, 1897 is recorded from the upper Oligocene of the North Sea Basin for the first time. In the systematical part, several species are treated, including 16 species which have not been recorded previously from the Danish upper Oligocene; a synopsis of the representatives of the genus Streptodictyon Tembrock, 1961 in the Danish Oligocene is also given. Aphanitoma ingerae Schnetler & Palm, 2008 is transferred to the genus Mitromorpha, subgenus Mitrolumna. The fauna is compared with other Danish and German late Oligocene faunas and palaeoecological interpretations are suggested. As many of the mollusc species have not previously been illustrated from the Danish upper Oligocene, the fauna is extensively illustrated.

Dinocyst assemblages have been studied to help date the investigated successions. The assemblages indicate that the glauconitic clay from Vilsund should be assigned to the provisionally named stratigraphical Unit X in Śliwińska et al. (2012) or the lowermost Brejning Formation. Unit X was previously only known from the interval 61.5–67.5 m in the Harre-1 borehole. Schnetler & Beyer (1990) assigned the glauconitic clay in the coastal cliff at Mogenstrup to the Brejning Formation, but dinocyst studies herein indicate that these strata should be assigned either to Unit X, most likely the upper part, or the lowermost Brejning Formation (see Appendix). This interpretation is supported by the foraminifers and the pectinid species Palliolum hausmanni (Goldfuss, 1835). 

The occurrence of other nearby outcrops of differing Oligocene ages is  demonstrated. The outcrops are described and dated by means of dinocysts and foraminifers and include a section showing a depositional contact between the lowermost Rupelian Viborg Formation and Chattian Branden Clay. The age of the Mogenstrup section is also demonstrated by means of dinocysts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-40
Number of pages40
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2024


  • Mollusca
  • taxonomy
  • biostratigraphy
  • dinocysts
  • palaeontology
  • Brejning Formation
  • Viborg Formation
  • Oligocene
  • Denmark
  • North Sea
  • North Sea Basin

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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