The Evolution of the Island of Neuwerk, Elbe Estuary, North Sea


  • Alex Chepstow-Lusty
  • Jϋrgen Ehlers
  • Gerhard Linke


Pollen analysis, heavy metals, cesium, Wadden Sea.


On samples recovered from trench profiles on Neuwerk, a little island on the German North Sea coast, palynology, heavy metal and cesium analyses were carried out in order to reveal the historical development of the island. All three analytical approaches yielded good results with regard to the relatively recent developments. The cesium determinations suggest that sedimentation during most of the last fifty years has been in the order of 2.1 mm/yr. but under the influence of increased storm surge heights and frequencies has recently accelerated to about 6.0-7 .5 mm/yr. The earlier history of the island is revealed by stratigraphical investigations. A clear sequence of vegetation succession is recorded, which is followed by a series of plant communities maintained by animal grazing.