Lithostratigraphy of the Late Saalian to Middle Weichselian Skaerumhede Group in Vendsyssel, northern Denmark

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The Quaternary sedimentary succession in Vendsyssel, northern Denmark, contains a unique, high-resolution record of the last interglacial and glacial periods. There is still much debate, however, about the timing and ice extent in this southwestern part of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet, particularly during the Middle Weichselian. In this study, a detailed lithostratigraphical subdivision is established for the Late Saalian to Middle Weichselian Skaerumhede Group on the basis of numerous, up to 250 m deep, boreholes in Vendsyssel. The sediments mainly consist of marine clays, glaciolacustrine sediments and tills, and the total thickness of the Skaerumhede Group is up to 140 m. Marine intervals have been used as stratigraphical marker units to separate the formations indicative of ice-sheet activity in Vendsyssel, and the timing of the events has been constrained by a large number of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon ages. The Skaerumhede Group is subdivided into seven formations and two members, reflecting shifts between marine and terrestrial sedimentation caused by fluctuations of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet and changes in sea level. The lowermost Skaerumhede Till Formation was deposited directly on top of the bedrock during the Warthe advance c. 160-140 kyr BP. Above, there are fine-grained marine sediments, subdivided into the Lower, Middle and Upper Skaerumhede Clay Formations. The marine formations are separated by the Br circle divide nderslev Formation related to the Sunds circle divide re ice advance from the north c. 65-60 kyr BP, and the Asted Formation, deposited during the Ristinge advance from an east-southeastern direction c. 55-50 kyr BP. The uppermost formation in the group is the L circle divide nstrup Klint Formation, which is an upwards-coarsening sequence of mainly glaciolacustrine sediments deposited prior to the Kattegat advance c. 30-29 kyr BP. The new evidence from Vendsyssel has shown that the Skaerumhede Group covers a large area, and that it can be used as a regional stratigraphical marker horizon. Furthermore, it contributes to a better understanding of the timing and extent of glacial events during the Late Saalian to Middle Weichselian in southwest Scandinavia.


  • Nicolaj Krog Larsen
  • Charlotte Fog Krohn
  • Christian Kronborg
  • Ole Bjorslev Nielsen
  • Karen Luise Knudsen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-786
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch