Shaped by ice and water

Once upon a time...

In the Quaternary period, which covers the last 2.5 million years, climate changes have caused several shifts between cold Ice Ages and warmer interglacial periods. During each Ice Age, the ice sheets and glaciers in the Scandinavian highlands grew and spread out over the surrounding lower lying land and sea, including Denmark. Each Ice Age shaped the landscape anew, but without destroying the former landscape completely.

At the end of the latest Ice Age

In the last part of the last Ice Age, the Weichselian glacial period, the main ice sheet from the north east came all the way across Jutland to the central ridge region. When the main Weichselian ice sheet over Denmark retreated, the edge of the ice sheet, about 20,000 years ago, was located above Helgenæs, Mols Bjerge and the area around Rønde.

In a number of subsequent brief advances, the lateral moraines, formed of deposits of material transported by the ice, were pushed together. The ice disappeared from Djursland again, but about 18,000 years ago, it came back to these areas, this time from the southeast (Baltic advance) and reached southern Djursland.

Along the ice edge, the hills previously created by the ice movements were pressed together and the great lateral moraines near Ebeltoft and Kalø Vig were shaped into their present form.

At the base of the ice, moraine clay - a mixture of clay, sand, gravel and stones - was deposited, and in the melt water lakes in front of the ice, sand and gravel carried by melt water rivers was deposited.

Where does the landscape come from?

The ice brought material from the north, northeast, east and southeast of Denmark and mixed this with local material. Thus, the stones at the beach have an interesting story to tell about the movement of the ice: kinnediabas (from the area Kinnekullen, Sweden), rhomb porphyry and larvikite came from the areas north and northeast of Denmark, the red Baltic quartz porphyry and sandstone came from the east and southeast areas, while flint and lime are local material from East Djursland.

When the ice started melting, large ice blocks were buried under layers of sand and gravel, and it took thousands of years before it was melted completely. The holes in which the ice was situated are known as kettle holes.


5 - Faergehavn - Foto Jette Sørensen

Changing sea levels

In the Stone Age, about 8000 years ago, the sea level was about 3-4 meters lower than today, and southern Djursland looked very different, with several inlets that ran inland. However, the rise in the level of the land after the ice had retreated led to the fact that the sea level slowly sunk again to its present level. That is why the former coastlines from the Stone Age sea are visible inland as relict clifflines, with the former flat, marine foreshores in front.