Early Pleistocene sediments on Store Koldewey, northeast Greenland


  • Ole Bennike (e-mail: obe@geus.dk), Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark; Karen Luise Knudsen and Niels Abrahamsen, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Aarhus, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, DK-8000 Århus C, Denmark; Jens Böcher, Zoological Museum, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark; Holger Cremer, Geological Survey of the Netherlands, Princetonlaan 6, NL-3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands; Bernd Wagner, Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Zuelpicher Strasse 49a, D-50674 Cologne, Germany


Bennike, O., Knudsen, K. L., Abrahamsen, N., Böcher, J., Cremer, H. & Wagner, B. 2010: Early Pleistocene sediments on Store Koldewey, northeast Greenland. Boreas, Vol. 39, pp. 603–619. 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2010.00147.x. ISSN 0300-9483.

Marine Quaternary deposits, here named the Store Koldewey Formation, are found at ∼120 m above sea level in northeast Greenland (76°N). The sequence is referred to the Olduvai normal polarity subchron at 1.95–1.78 Ma BP based on palaeomagnetic studies (palaeomagnetically reversed), amino acid epimerization ratios and evidence from marine and non-marine fossils. The sediments and the fauna show that the sequence was deposited on a mid or inner shelf, and some elements of the marine mollusc and foraminiferal assemblages indicate water temperatures between −1 and +1 °C and seasonal sea ice cover during deposition. Mean summer air temperatures were around 6 °C higher than at present, as demonstrated by the occurrence of southern extralimital terrestrial species. Well-preserved remains of land plants indicate that the adjacent land area was dominated by sub-arctic forest-tundra with the trees Larix and Betula, shrubs, herbs and mosses. Most of the species represented as fossils have recent circumpolar geographical ranges. An extinct brachiopod species and an extinct gastropod species have been found, but the other macrofossils are referred to extant species. The brachiopod is erected as a new genus and species, Laugekochiana groenlandica. Correlation of the Koldewey Formation with the Île de France Formation farther to the north is suggested. Member A of the Kap København Formation in North Greenland is referred to the Late Pliocene, whereas Member B of the Kap København Formation is suggested to be slightly older than the Store Koldewey Formation.