The Coastal Geomorphological Development of the Skagen Spit, Jutland, Denmark. Its Fate During the Next Century. Coastal Erosion and Accretion.


  • Per Bruun


Skagen Odde, Skagen Odde Model, sea level rise, coastal protection, artificial nourishment


This paper is written in continuation of 3 earlier papers published by the JCR on the Skagen Spit in Jutland, Denmark. The first paper, JCR 9(4), 1993, addressed the geological development, as a result of glacial moraines generated by glaciers from 3 different directions. The second paper, JCR 9(4), described the advance northward of the spit from about 6,000 years BP and up to now in relation to the relative rise of the land due to glacial rebound in relation to the rise of the sea level. The Skagen Spit model built in 1995 is mentioned in JCR 14(1), which gives details on the development of the spit modeled in scale 1 in 5,000 and presented from a platform driving in imitated elevation 15,000 meters.

This (fourth) paper attempts to predict the development of the spit up to year 2,100 including the erosion of the west and east sides and the large accumulations on the tip of the spit, Grenen (The Branch). Coastal protection efforts by groups of groins have, as it could be expected, not been very successful and nourishment has so far been minor in scale. Huge accumulations of the order of 1 million cubic meters per year take place at the Grenen. The present rate of shoreline movement, which is about 6-8 meters per year, can be expected to increase to 8-10 meters per year as a result of a worsening of the weather climate increasing the erosion. The spit, therefore, is becoming "slimmer" and only major artificial nourishments will be able to protect the spit.