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  The Netherlands

october 2017
Last Modified:
october 2017

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Location description

On the Dutch Wadden Islands, fossils from the Eemian (Late Pleistocene) can be found. 

In many places in the northern part of the Netherlands, the marine deposits of the Eem Formation occur relatively close to the surface. This is also true for the islands of Texel, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog and for North Sea north of the Dutch Wadden Islands. Given that the Eem Formation occurs so close to the surface here, fossils regularly erode from these deposits. Sometimes material also erodes from the deposits of the Eridanos river system, including Baltic amber, and from the latest glacial (Weichselian) deposits, including mammal bones. These fossils subsequently wash ashore, amongst others on the beaches of the Dutch Wadden Islands.

Apart from this natural supply of fossils, from the 90s onwards sand supplementations on the islands of Terschelling and Ameland have been delivering additional Pleistocene fossil material.

Photo 1 of 7

The beach of Schiermonnikoog
Added by: FossilDude on 18-10-2017

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Fossils from the Eemian can predominantly be found along the North Sea beaches of the Dutch Wadden Islands. Given that the Eem Formation occurs closest to the surface under the islands Texel, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, the beaches of these islands are richest in fossils. A well-known site is the North Sea beach of the Boschplaat, the easternmost part of the island of Terschelling.

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The fossils that can be found along the beaches of the Dutch Wadden Islands are mostly part of the typical Eemian molluscan assemblage. These fossils can be recognized because this assemblage consists of different species than those currently living on the Dutch shores, and because they haave become none-transparant, resulting from the fossilisation proces.

Apart from these marine fossils, also Baltic amber, transported by the Eridanos river system, can be found. 

There are 26 photographs of fossils from this location in our Fossil ID System.
Go to the Waddeneilanden Species List to identify your own finds!

Literature recommended by members

  • De Bruyne, R.H. & De Boer, T.W., 2008: Schelpen van de Waddeneilanden
    p. 359
    Added by FossilDude
  • Moerdijk, P.W., et al., 2010: De fossiele schelpen van de Nederlandse kust
    NCB Naturalis
    Added by FossilDude

Do you have (more) literature suggestions for this location? Please send your suggestion using the Literature form!

Other locations in the area

Fossil location: Hondsrug (Noordelijke grens fossielen)
Fossil location: Hondsrug (Zuidelijke grens fossielen)
Fossil location: Vliestroom
Fossil location: Zandafgraving Gasselterveld
Fossil location: Zandgronden (Balloërveld)
Geology location: Balloërveld (Pingo)
Museum: IJstijdenmuseum
Museum: Mineralogisch Museum Grou
Society: Het Kristal


added by Johan Vellekoop

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