Morten Pejrup

Morten Pejrup

Professor emeritus

Primary fields of research

Tidal Hydraulics. Cohesive sediment transport
Sea-level changes and its effect on coastal areas

Fields of interest

Earth System Science
Sea-level change - climate change
Estuarine tidal hydraulics
Sediment accumulation in coastal lagoons. Global and local.

Current research

Recent and Fossil Coastal Systems (REFLEKS)

Denmark is a perfect locality for the study of both recent and fossil coastal systems. Denmark has a coast line of app. 7000 Km, and the coasts consist almost exclusively of sediments deposited during the Holecone. At some places the coast line is erosional like in the northern part of Zeeland and the north-western part of Jutland, whereas in other parts of the country - like Thy, Vendsyssel and the islands Læsø and Anholt in the Kattegat Sea - we find extensive areas with large sand accumulations. In Denmark there are areas where sea level rises, and these areas are situated close to places where sea level falls. In the northeastern part of the country one can study the formation for strand plains, spits, beach reaches and sand dunes in great detail, whereas in the southwestern part of the country one can study how the sandy coastal systems today respond to a rising sea level. The ages of the coastal systems range from systems being active today and back to systems formed at the closing of the last ice age (Weichsel).

The basic idea of the project is to combine research at the surface with research of the vertical variation through geological layers - and back in time. In this way it becomes possible to give a three-dimensional interpretation of the landscape formation. A large number of dated sediment samples from the investigated coastal systems will make it possible to describe the historical development of the coastal landscapes from the end of last ice age until present days. We combine geomorphological expertise - the interpretation and description of the surface morphology - with geological expertise in order to interpret the deeper layers and the way they were formed.

The REFLEKS-project is a three year project running from the middle of 2008 until the middle of 2011. With the results we expect to gain we will be able to describe how the sea level has changed in Denmark during the last 13.000 years, the Holocene period. Furthermore we expect to be able to forecast how coastal similar landscapes will respond to the climatic changes that are expected within the next hundred years. Finally, we expect that our results will be useful in the oil exploitation in depths of several kilometers. Here oil is often found in sandy reservoirs deposited as coastal systems many million years ago. Data from such depths are mostly sparse and knowledge of how sandy coastal systems form and function today will be useful for the interpretation of deep reservoirs formed by ancient coastal processes.

Contact person: Prof. Morten Pejrup (Project leader, IGG) 

Projet participants: 
From GEUS: Lars Henrik Nielsen, Peter Johannesen, Jens Morten Hansen, Merete Binderup, Birger Larsen, Ingelise Malling Møller, Stefan Piasecki. 
From IGG: Morten Pejrup, Lars Nielsen, Nanna Noe-Nygaard, Troels Aagaard, Thorbjørn Joest Andersen, Anni Tindahl Madsen. 
From AU and Risø: Andrew Murray.

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