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Abstract

Tunnel valleys on- and offshore Denmark have been investigated based on a database of 1000 km two-dimensional (2D) onshore seismic data, 5600 km 2D offshore seismic data and 1200 km2 three-dimensional (3D) offshore seismic data. From the 2D data we identified 216 onshore and 674 offshore seismic tunnel valley intersections, and 55 individual valleys were identified from three 3D surveys. The majority of the valleys have depths ranging from 50 to 200 m and widths between 500 and 1500 m. Up to seven generations of tunnel valleys were identified, indicating repeated erosion and deposition within the study area. The valleys were most likely formed by subglacial meltwater erosion during the last three glaciations. Statistical analyses conducted on the data show that there are no significant differences between the onshore and offshore valleys with respect to their depth and shape; they share morphological and structural characteristics. The onshore seismic data have been analysed in conjunction with lithological information from boreholes. The analyses show that tunnel valley bottoms terminate equally commonly in substrates dominated by clay and sand, and that the valley shapes are similar for the two substrates.

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