Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics


Earth and Environmental Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Sandra Passchier

Committee Member

Matthew Gorring

Committee Member

Michael Kruge


Periods of glaciation followed by deglaciation are a result of the complex processes that drive climate on Earth. To understand these processes and the types of climate that they induce, sediment cores can be analyzed to extract data to determine depositional environment and relative sea level in an area. This project will investigate the particle size and organic geochemistry from a sediment core (IODP Expedition 347, Hole M0060A) taken outside the Baltic Sea, at Anholt Loch which is located in the southern Kattegat. The objective of this study is to better understand the depositional environment and relative sea level changes in the area, specifically during the last interglacial-glacial period (130-24 ka). To do this mineralogical, grain size, and organic geochemical data were analyzed from the sediment core. Grain size data showed various types of depositional environments. Unit IV indicated an ice proximal-glaciomarine environment based on grain size distribution. Unit V showed evidence of a shallow marine environment indicated by the presence of Turritella sp. shell fragments. Unit VI was found to be a high energy fluvial deposit based on grain size distribution, the presence of zircon, and a fining upwards sequence. Lastly, Unit VII contained three layers of unsorted silty sediment which indicated mass transport types of events, such as a gravity flow. The geochemical analyses of organic matter in the samples were found to have a similar signature between units and are thought to be of a coaly origin. By analyzing the surrounding basin properties, it is thought that the coal could be from the Jurassic bedrock surrounding the core. Based on data collected, the depositional environments and relative sea level changed multiple times, indicating that the last interglacial period in the Kattegat was not stable.

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