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2016 05 - R/V Heincke Cruise He463 - Pa­laeo­Dog­ger

Post­gla­ci­al drai­na­ge sys­tems in the nort­hern Ger­man Bight

11. 05 – 27.05.2016 : Bre­mer­ha­ven – Bre­mer­ha­ven

Chief Scientist: Dr. Hanno Keil

MTU Participants: Oguro, Brune, Pavlak, Ehmen

Cruise Report He463

In the cour­se of the en­vi­ron­men­tal re­or­ga­niza­t­i­on of the North Sea shelf sin­ce the Last Gla­ci­al Ma­xi­mum, the Elbe-Pa­laeo­val­ley (EPV) chan­ged its hy­dro­geo­lo­gi­cal cha­rac­ter from a gla­ci­al mel­twa­ter drai­na­ge sys­tem along the Scan­di­na­vi­an ice sheet (SIS) mar­gin into a sea in­let with va­rious ma­jor and re­gio­nal tri­bu­ta­ries, be­fo­re the EPV fi­nal­ly got drow­ned in the mo­dern  North Sea du­ring the post-gla­ci­al trans­gres­si­on. One tar­get of this pro­po­sal is to un­der­stand the hy­dro­geo­lo­gi­cal role and evo­lu­ti­on of a re­cent­ly dis­co­ve­r­ed tri­buta­ry sys­tem of the EPV, which drai­ned the ex­po­sed Dog­ger Bank area. Ba­sed on fin­dings from RV Heincke crui­se HE405 (2013) fo­cu­sing on the in­fill his­to­ry of the sou­thern EPV in the cour­se of the trans­gres­si­on, a se­cond tar­get is to in­ves­ti­ga­te the par­ti­al­ly spe­cu­la­ti­ve pa­thway of the nort­hern EPV and the un­der­ly­ing mor­pho­lo­gy. A third tar­get is to un­der­stand the in­fill pat­tern re­la­ted to lar­ge sca­le cir­cu­la­ti­on and pa­laeo-to­po­gra­phic cons­trains. For all tar­gets we will ob­tain data with seis­mic sur­veys and vi­bro­co­ring in Da­nish, Nor­we­gi­an, Ger­man and Dutch wa­ters. The re­sults will pro­vi­de new in­sights in the EPV as a re­gio­nal de­wa­te­ring sys­tem sin­ce the late Weich­se­li­an and in­crea­se our un­der­stan­ding about the role of tri­buta­ry sys­tems in for­ming the Me­so­li­thic Dog­ger­land land­scape in the pre­sent-day North Sea.                    

Lo­ca­ti­on of the stu­dy are­as in re­spect to the known po­si­ti­on of the Elbe-Pa­laeo­val­ley and the Dog­ger Bank. Ma­genta rectangles show the po­si­ti­on of the Dog­ger drai­na­ge chan­nel (north) and the Pa­laeo Ems (south). Exis­ting MCS and SES li­nes in the Ger­man Bight are also shown. The red over­view li­nes shall pro­vi­de a first base for the ex­act lo­ca­ti­on of a den­ser sur­vey line net­work.



Groups in­vol­ved:

  • Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Norway (Prof. Haflidi Haflidason)
  • Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


  • Highfrequency shallow water multichannel seismics
  • Single channel seismic Boomer
  • Echosounding systems
  • Vibrocorer

SES 2000 pa­ra­metric sub­bot­tom pro­fi­ler li­nes cros­sing the Elbe-Pa­laeo­val­ley at three dif­fe­rent la­ti­tu­des as in­di­ca­ted in the in­set. The images show a co­lor coded dis­play of the en­ve­l­o­pe of the re­cor­ded si­gnal. The depth sca­le has been cal­cu­la­ted as­su­ming a sound ve­lo­ci­ty of 1500 m/s.

Flu­vi­al sys­tem sou­theas­tern of the Dog­ger Bank: (A) Seis­mic vi­sua­liza­t­i­on of the ear­liest Ho­lo­ce­ne pa­laeo­sur­face and val­ley ba­sis sho­w­ing a com­plex flu­vi­al sys­tem. (B) In­ter­pre­ta­ti­on of the seis­mic grid sho­w­ing ri­vers, ox­bows and bo­g­land.

Pa­leo-Ems: (A) As­su­red ri­ver cour­se of the hi­d­den Pa­laeo-Ems and the mo­dern Ems Ri­ver in re­la­ti­on to the Elbe-Pa­laeo­val­ley. The hy­po­the­ti­cal cour­se (da­s­hed red line), con­nec­ting the pre­sent-day Ems es­tua­ry and the map­ped pa­laeo flu­vi­al sys­tem. (B) Map of the Ho­lo­ce­ne base out­li­ning the ri­ver val­ley as map­ped from seis­mic data.

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