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Vadehavet

Theme: Holocene coastal development  

Locality: Vadehavet
Description of a supplementary Danish GeoSite

Silt trenches
Photo: Silt trenches, by P. Friis Moeller.

Primary identification


1. GeoSite no.:
GS - 5-3

2. National locality no.:
NGI - 87, 104-106.

3. GeoSite name:
Vadehavet.

4. Location:
Denmark; Southwestern Jutland.

5. Co-ordinates UTM:
System ED50 Zone 32:
x=479404, y=6086570; x=477966, y=6094918;
x=467296, y=6121455; x=450822, y=6152193.

6. Type of locality:
Coast.


Primary geological features


7. Main topic:
Tidal area.

8. Geo(morpho)logy:
Complex of active transgressive barrier spits and barrier islands, and lagunes with waddens disected by tidal ebb channels and with associated submarine ebb deltas. There is an unregulated estuary at the Varde Å discharge. There are as a whole only few technical interferences at the coast.
The Wadden Sea is young and under constant rapid modification due to the interplay of sea currents and waves, wind, and addition of finegrained material form the North German river outlets, and the effect of approximately 4 mm yearly transgression during the latest decades. Due to the very large excess supply of material the barriers are displaced towards the sea despite the general transgression, and the barrier spits at the Skallingen move East. The surfaces of the active waddens are in between low and high tide levels and mainly consist of silty and clayey sand. In protected areas there are clay dominated waddens.
The marshes in the hindland of the waddens are developed in an interpaly in between man and nature, and overly glacial deposits (the geest).
Some major marine sand dunes are submerged when the tide is exceptionally high, only.
The barrier islands are sandy at the Western sides and silty/clayey at the Eastern.
At Emmerlev Klev in the coastal area of the mainland a succession of Neogene deposits are exposed. These deposits are Saalian clayey till, Eemian peat and soil horizons in an undisturbed Eemian moor, and Weichselian periglacial deposits.
9. Frame / context:
Sedimentology.

10. Chronostratigraphy:
Post Glacial to Resent.

11. Primary value:
Dynamic Wadden Sea with associated marshes and barrier islands.

12. Comparative evaluation:
Comparative evaluation:
The Varde Å discharge is the only estuary in the Northwest Eurpean Wadden Sea, which is not manipulated.
The Wadden Sea is a continuum into Northern Germany and The Netherlands, where analogues to the described features may generally be found.

13. Comparable GeoSites:
In Denmark: None.
Outside Denmark: The continuation of the Danish Wadden Sea into Northern Gemany and The Nederlands.


Supplementary data in support of the locality


14. Delineation on a map:
....

15. Higth of the GeoSite:
n.a.

16. Area of the GeoSite:
ca. 500 km2 (combination of the NGI's 87 and 104-106).

17. Subordinate geological interests:
Stratigraphy, Dynamic processes.

18. "Non"-geo interests:
Farmery.
Wildlife resort.
Ornithology.
Tourism.
Bathing.

19. References:
Aagaard, T., Nielsen, N. & Nielsen, J., 1995: Skallingen - Origin and evolution of a barrier spit. Medd. fra Skallingen-laboratoriet, XXXV, Geogr. Inst. Kbh. Univ., 85 pp.
Vadehavskollektivet, 2002: Vadehavets geomorfologi. Kompendium til undervisning i Naturlandskabet. Geogr. Inst. Kbh. Univ., 58 pp.
Bartholdy, J. & Peirup, M., 1994: Holocene Evolution of the Danish Wadden Sea. Senckenbergiana maritima, 24 (1/6), 187-209.
Jespersen, M. & Rasmussen, E., 1994: Koresand. Die entwicklung Eines Aussensandes vor dem dänishe Wattenmeer. Die Küste, 56, 97-91.
Jakobsen, B., 1954: The tidal area in South-Western Jutland and the Process of the Salt Marsh Formation. Geogr. Tidsskrift, 53, 49-61.
Jakobsen, B., 1964: Vadehavets morfologi. Folia Geographica Danica, XI, 1, 1-176.
Jespersen, M. & Rasmussen, E., 1980: Klintmarsken. Geogr. Orientering, 10, 4, 298-302.
Christensen, H.H., 1998: Periglacial Sediments in an Eemian-Weichselian succession at Emmelev Klev, Southwestern Jutland, Denmark. Pal. Pal. Pal., 138, 245-258.
Felix-Henningsen, P., 1981: Soils form Warthe till at the Emmelev Klev in Southern Denmark. Stratigrahy and paleopedology. Geografisk Tidsskrift, 81, 33-38.
Jessen, K. & Milthers, V., 1928: Interglacial Freshwater Deposits in Jutland and Northwest Germany. Danm. Geol. Unders., II. Rk., 48, 380 pp.
Nordmann, V., 1925: Interglaciale Moser i Emmelev Klint i Vestschlesvig. Meddelelser fra Dansk geol. Foren., 6, 35-37.
Sjørring, S. & Frederiksen, J., 1980: Glacialstratigrafiske observationer i de Vestjyske bakkeøer. Dansk geol. Foren., Årsskrift for 1979, 63-77.
Jacobsen, N.K., 1964: Tøndermarskens Naturgeografi. Folia Geogr. Dan., 7 (1), København, 350 pp.
Nielsen, N., 1966: Tønder Amt. landskaber. Trap Danmark, V. udg., Bd. X, 2.

20. Data sources, collections:
....

21. Illustrations:
Photo:

22. Proposers:
Dansk Geologisk Forening & Det Kongelige Danske Geografiske Selskab

23. Description by:
Based on Binderup, M. & Holm, L. (eds.), 2004: Geologisk Set, Det sydlige Jylland. 188 pp.

24. Recommandation:
Vadehavet is a GeoSite.

25. Comments:
May be taken to be part of a major North Western European Wadden Sea GeoSite.

26. Supplementary description:
....

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Theme: Holocene coastal development
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