2013 06 - R/V Heincke Cruise He405

Tra­cing the Holo­cene trans­gres­sion of the North Sea in the Ger­man Bight

27.06 – 13.07.2013 : Bre­mer­ha­ven – Bre­mer­ha­ven

Chief Scientist: Dr. Hanno Keil

MTU Participants: Özmaral, ..


  • Sparker
  • Boomer
  • Multibeam System Kongsberg EM710
  • Innomar SES2000 Parametric Sediment Echosounder
  • Vibrocorer
  • CPTu

After the last ma­jor gla­ci­ation, the Weich­sel gla­ci­ation, the mod­ern North Sea shelf has been formed due to the global sea level rise of ap­prox­im­ately 130 m. Re­con­struc­tions of shifts of the coast­line in the Ger­man Bight due to the sea level rise are mainly based on the dat­ing of coastal and near-sur­face peat de­pos­its. The form­a­tion of these peat lay­ers was stopped when the peats were flooded due to the mar­ine trans­gres­sion. 

To ex­tend the ex­ist­ing know­ledge of the Holo­cene sea level change to­wards the early Holo­cene (>9 ka) and to in­crease the data qual­ity, the ex­ped­i­tion aims to in­vest­ig­ate deeper bur­ied peat lay­ers in the in­ter­re­lated dewa­ter­ing sys­tem Elbe-Pa­laeoval­ley. These peat lay­ers shall be sys­tem­at­ic­ally loc­al­ized with seis­mic and geo­tech­nical meth­ods and, if pos­sible, be sampled. By this new ap­proach a con­tinu­ous se­quence of dat­able samples from ex­actly known sub­sur­face depths shall be col­lec­ted from the deeper to the shal­lower parts of the pa­laeoval­ley.

With the data to be ob­tained the early Holo­cene sea level rise shall be de­scribed in de­tail to achieve an un­der­stand­ing of the dy­nam­ics of a fast trans­gres­sion. This can be of im­port­ance to de­velop ad­apt­a­tion strategies to a fu­ture fast rise of the sea level.

Map of working areas and planned study sites. Dur­ing the planned cruise sev­eral seis­mic pro­files and core tran­sects along and across the Elbe Pa­laeoval­ley (yel­low) will be ob­tained. Blue dots show ex­ist­ing dated peat samples used to re­con­struct the Early Holo­cene trans­gres­sion into the Ger­man Bight. The num­ber of data points in deeper mar­ine sec­tions (i.e. fur­ther off­shore) re­flect­ing the early trans­gres­sion is still very lim­ited. Based on the planned seis­mic sur­veys, those deeper peat lay­ers will be mapped and sampled dur­ing the cruise

Track Chart of Cruise He405

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