Northern hemisphere glaciations have distinctly shaped the landscapes in Europe and North America. The interplay with sea level changes then led to a change in depositional setting from glaciolacustrine terrestrial to shallow marine, with a transition through shoreline processes and riverine operprint. The consequences in Northern Europe were quite different though.
In the Baltic Sea, with barriers to the ocean at Kattegatt, the effect of deglaciations went from heavy basal erosion, glacial thrusting and valley formation to the development of a marginal ice lake and later to a marginal sea with intermittent inflow of salty water. Holocene sediment is stratified and fine-grained, partially associated with contouritic systems.
The North Sea served as the main drainage plain from the dewatering glaciers, and sand was dominating the terrestrial domain. In the early phase, also an ice lake was forming, before rising sea level led to a southward shift of shoreline and in the late stage a strong estuaine circulation. While glacier reaching the North Sea have affected the subsurface by loading, erosion, fracturing, freezing and tunnel valley formation, the area of the North Sea always remained as a depositional sink due to ongoing subsidence.
Tunnel valleys and fracturing
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Farag, Mohamed (2021) Facies Mapping of a Quaternary Tunnel Valley Infill - North Sea
Sierra, Gabriella (2020) Impact of Salt Tectonics and Glaciations on Sedimentation in the North Sea
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Nachtweide, Christoph (2014) 3D model of Pleistocene sediments at the south-eastern margin of the Arkona Basin, Baltic Sea