Baltic Sea beaches

Typical beach sceneries of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Baltic Sea coast are displayed in four showcases.

Most bluffs and steep banks along the southern Baltic Sea coast are composed of till. It was deposited down-ice when ground moraines formed during glacial periods.

Marlstone is a mix of clay and lime. Till contains much sand and gravel. Like raisins in a cake, till embeds glacial drift. Through weathering, grey till often turns into brown boulder clay.

Drift is different glacial material including sediments and large rocks. It was transported and deposited here by glaciers from Scandinavia or the Baltic Sea region.

If seaside bluffs and banks erode and are washed out by the sea, drift is left on the beaches. Bigger rocks are called “Findlinge” (boulders).

Rocks containing fossils are especially interesting.

On Rügen and Møn there are cliffs made up of white chalk. This earthy limestone was used to produce blackboard chalk back then.

Nearly 80 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period, chalk was ooze accumulating at the bottom of a great, warm and shallow sea. It consists of 98% lime from shells of tiny sea organisms.

White chalk is almost entirely composed of tiny microscopic shell remnants of single-celled organisms that lived in the sea. Bigger shells of other animal groups can be found as fossils between sand, pebbles and flints on the beach.

The beach sand of the Baltic Sea coast almost entirely consists of quartz grains. They are whitish and colourless. Single darker grains are mostly made of magnetite or garnet.

Sandy beaches are predominantly located on flat coasts that have been washed up by the sea. The sand originates from bluffs and steep banks. Marine erosion washes it away and deposits it parallel to the coast.

Steady wave motion sorts every single grain of sand. When washed ashore, sand beaches emerge. Winds also blow beach sand inland where it builds up as dunes.

After storms, amber is often washed up on sandy beaches.