Holocene Sedimentation in the North-Western North Sea

  1. S.-D. Nio,
  2. R. T. E. Shüttenhelm and
  3. Tj. C. E. Van Weering
  1. Roderick Owens

Published Online: 29 JUN 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303759.ch23

Holocene Marine Sedimentation in the North Sea Basin

Holocene Marine Sedimentation in the North Sea Basin

How to Cite

Owens, R. (1981) Holocene Sedimentation in the North-Western North Sea, in Holocene Marine Sedimentation in the North Sea Basin (eds S.-D. Nio, R. T. E. Shüttenhelm and Tj. C. E. Van Weering), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303759.ch23

Author Information

  1. Institute of Geological Sciences, Murchison House, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3LA, Scotland, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 JUN 2009
  2. Published Print: 23 DEC 1981

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632008582

Online ISBN: 9781444303759

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Keywords:

  • coarser terrigenous and biogenic carbonate components;
  • abundance of biogenic carbonate in sediments;
  • post-glacial rise in sea-level;
  • deglaciation and accompanying eustatic rise in sea-level;
  • thickness of superficial sediment

Summary

Maps of superficial sediments have been prepared from textural analyses of samples taken at 495 sample stations between latitudes 56° and 58° N; longitudes 2° W and 0°. The areal and vertical relationships of the textural variables provide evidence for a degree of bathymetric control of their distribution. While sand is ubiquitous, gravelly sediments occur mainly on topographic highs in shallow waters, and muddy sediments generally in water depths greater than 120 m.

Cluster and trend-surface analyses of the data indicate a dynamic sedimentary environment in which the coarser terrigenous and biogenic carbonate components of the sediments are derived by erosion from topographic highs formed of glacigenic sediments. The dispersion directions of the sediments are controlled by the tidal stream. Tidal currents in the study area are weak, except in shallow waters near coasts, and there is evidence that their dispersive role is aided by storm-wave-induced oscillatory currents. Relative topography is as important a factor as absolute water depth in controlling the distribution of facies. Shallow geophysical data confirm these observations. They also reveal anomalously located bedforms, such as large sand waves, which may be the result of exceptionally severe storms. The abundance of biogenic carbonate in the sediments and its generally relict appearance may result from continuous slow accumulation following the Holocene transgression.

Use of the terms relict and palimpsest to describe the sediments mapped may be inappropriate until more information on temporal variations in the sedimentary environment is available.