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New data from terp excavations on sea-level index points and salt marsh sedimentation rates in the eastern part of the Dutch Wadden Sea

  • Annet Nieuwhof (a1) and Peter C. Vos (a2)
Abstract

This paper presents new geological data from two terp excavations at Englum and Ezinge, in the Dutch province of Groningen, and compares them to similar data from the western part of Friesland, in particular from the terp of Wijnaldum-Tjitsma. This terp is situated at a salt marsh ridge of the same height and thickness as Englum and Ezinge, although habitation started 650 years later at Wijnaldum. The measured levels of the tidal-flat/salt-marsh boundary underneath these terps make it possible to reconstruct palaeo-Mean High Water (MHW) levels. These sea-level index points show that palaeo-MHW in the Groningen part of the Wadden Sea was at the upper limit of the range of palaeo-MHW that has been reconstructed for the Dutch Wadden Sea on the basis of data from its western part. The deviating levels indicate that there are differences between regions of the Wadden Sea; this has earlier been established for the German section of the Wadden Sea. In the eastern part of the Dutch Wadden Sea, MHW nowadays is considerably higher than in the western part of the Wadden Sea; the data suggest that this may have been the case already in the 1st millennium BC. Salt marsh levels under dated terp layers make it possible to establish the rate of sedimentation of the developing salt marsh, at 23–91 cm per century for the pioneer zone and low marsh. This rate of development slowed to 4–5 cm per century for the middle marsh and 3–4 cm per century for the high salt marsh.

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      New data from terp excavations on sea-level index points and salt marsh sedimentation rates in the eastern part of the Dutch Wadden Sea
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      New data from terp excavations on sea-level index points and salt marsh sedimentation rates in the eastern part of the Dutch Wadden Sea
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      New data from terp excavations on sea-level index points and salt marsh sedimentation rates in the eastern part of the Dutch Wadden Sea
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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email: a.nieuwhof@rug.nl
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