The history of the underlying geology of the Schokland area

The history of the underlying geology of the Schokland area
  1. From the Cretaceous this part of Europe was a depression.
  2. From about 10 Mio ago there was a great river system, the East Baltic River System that deposited sediments here, up to a thickness of 3 kms. The (extinct) river is also called Eridanos. A delta system larger than the Amazone river system today. It also gave shape to the Baltic Sea.
  3. From about 2 Mio ago the Ice Ages started. Esp. 700 000 BP the Continental Ice Cap covered Scandinavia.
  4. Most features observable on the present map of Holland and in the landscape were shaped during the last time the ice cap was here, the Saalien, 180 000 - 120 000 BP. The boulder clay of some parts in Schokland is due to this period.
  5. During the Eemien, 120 000 - 110 000 BP, the sea extended into the land, the present Eem valley, the climate was subtropical.
  6. During the Weichselien, 110 000- 10 000 BP. The land was a cold tundra.
  7. After the last Ice Age, the sea level rose again, large parts of the delta were covered by marshes. Many deposits of clay and peat. The main parts of Schokland were covered by peat and clay (or river sands).
  8. At the time of the Romans, the Zuiderzee area consisted of a large system of lakes and bogs, called Mare Flevum. For the Romans this was not a country for civilized people. People were able to walk across the marshes and river banks to the (relative) heights of Schokland and Urk.
  9. The sea fought its way into the land and by 1300 AD Urk and Schokland were more or less considered as an island. After a severe storm in 1448 they became separated as two islands. In 1859 the last inhabitants left the island of Schokland. The harbour continued to be used by fishermen.
  10. In 1942 the Noordoost-Polder was reclaimed from the sea and the islands were seen as hills in the flat landscape. The water table was artifically controlled and kept low to support agriculture (1.20 metre below the surface).
  11. By 1990 it became clear that the island of Schokland was sinking (even faster than the polderland), because the peat (under the top clay layer) was drying up fast. The whole island had sunk over two metres since 1942.
  12. In 1995 Schokland was nominated as UNESCO World Heritage site. Values: geology, archeology, cultural history, nature and scenery.
  13. At present a hydrological project is run to keep the underground wet.

the tower of pisa - The history of the underlying geology of the Schokland area

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