New insights into the structural development and shortening of the southern Jasmund Glacitectonic Complex (Rügen, Germany) based on balanced cross sections

Anna Gehrmann, Stig A. Schack Pedersen, Martin Meschede

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Late Pleistocene glacitectonism at the southern Scandinavian Ice Sheet margin caused folding and thrusting of Upper Cretaceous chalk layers and Pleistocene glacial deposits in parts of the southwestern Baltic Sea area in Europe. Beside Møns Klint (SE Denmark), the Jasmund Glacitectonic Complex (JGC) on Rügen Island (NE Germany) is a similar striking example of glacitectonic deformation creating large composite ridges. In spite of a long research history and new results from modern datasets, the structural development of the JGC is still poorly understood, especially the detailed evolution of the southern JGC and its relationship to the northern JGC remain enigmatic. In this contribution, we demonstrate how the understanding of the JGC benefits from the application of established structural geological methods comprehending the formation of fold-and-thrust belts. The methods include cross-section balancing of the eastern coast (southern JGC) and quantification of the amount of folding and faulting. The proposed geometric model shows the current fold-and-thrust stack of glacially deformed sedimentary strata ca. 5720 m in length evolved by shortening from the original length (11,230 m) by 5510 m (49.1%). We present a spatial and temporal development of fault-related folding with a transition from detachment folds through fault-propagation folds to fault-bend folds. Together with morphological information from a digital elevation model, the thrust faults mapped in the cliff section are mainly inclined towards the S to SW and imply that a local glacier push occurred from the south. These results highlight the complexity and individual architecture of the JGC when compared to other Pleistocene and modern glacitectonic complexes. Resolving its structural development provides new insight into the deformation history and shortening of this spectacular glacitectonic complex lying in the southwestern Baltic Sea region.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1697-1715
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal of Earth Sciences
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


    • Balanced cross sections
    • Fault-related folding
    • Glacitectonics
    • Late Pleistocene
    • Scandinavian Ice Sheet
    • Structural analysis
    • Thin-skinned thrust tectonics

    Programme Area

    • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


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