Several well‐preserved Late Pleistocene spit systems occur uplifted in northern Jylland, Denmark. Their present‐day morphological expression allows detailed study of spit growth patterns while the internal sedimentological organisation can be examined in a series of pits distributed along the length of the spits. Two characteristic vertical sequences are recognized in the systems. The first (Sequence I) consists of a giant‐scale cross‐bedded foreset unit, overlain by topset and beach units, while the second (Sequence II) consists of the foreset unit overlain by bar‐trough and beach units. The two sequence types pass laterally into each other with a short overlap zone. They can be interpreted in terms of Meistrell's (1966, 1972) model for spit‐platform growth based on scaled wave tank experiments. The giant‐scale cross‐bedded unit corresponds to prograding of a coarse‐grained subaqueous spit‐platform while the topset, bar‐trough and beach units reflect the growth of the subaerial spit. The alternation between sequence I and II reflects the inversely related growth of the spit and platform structures: when the rate of subaqueous platform progradation declines, the subaerial spit grows uniformly, and when the platform progrades uniformly spit growth declines. The model is probably only valid for relatively coarse‐grained systems because only these deposits would have a relatively steep front. The water depth in which the spit system progrades and thus bottom topography, determines the thickness of the giant‐scale cross‐bedded foreset unit because the water depth over the top of the platform is relatively constant. If the water is less than a few metres deep the spit‐platform is not developed as seen where the Late Pleistocene spit systems prograded over elevations of the sea bottom. Conversely, the correct recognition of spit‐platform sequences allows precise determination of sea‐level and water depth at the time of formation. Finally, the model adds one further mode of formation of giant‐scale cross‐bedding to those already known from fluvial transverse, lateral and point bars, subtidal sand waves and Gilbert deltas.
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1988|
- Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate