Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: The Wadden Sea, Denmark

Geschreven op 29-4-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

100places to rememberWhere You Walk on Water. The Wadden Sea is a low-lying coast formed some 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age, when the ice that had covered most of Denmark melted and the water flowed westwards. As it reached the coast, silt deposits created new, low-lying land that has been changing shape with the ebb and flow of the sea ever since.

Tourists from Denmark and abroad flock to the Wadden Sea in droves to walk on water and see the varied landscape of cliffs, marshes, sandy beaches and tidal mudflats, where the difference between low and high tide can be up to 1.8 metres.

The flora and fauna of the region have adapted to the rise and fall of the sea, as well as its shifting salinity, which has created an ecosystem so incredibly rich and diverse that the Wadden Sea is considered one of the ten most important wetlands in the world.

With up to 100,000 shrimps, worms, snails and clams per square metre, the Wadden Sea also serves as a well-stocked pantry for more than 10 million migratory birds. Every autumn, geese, ducks, gulls, dunlins and other aquatic birds arrive to spend the winter, or to rest and replenish their fat reserves before starting the long flight to their breeding grounds.

The dynamic nature of the Wadden Sea landscape, as it is incessantly built up and broken down by the sea and wind, may actually be the salvation of the tidal flats. New deposits of sediments are expected to keep up with the projected rise in the sea level caused by global warming. If the sea level rises higher and more rapidly than expected, however, as some scientists believe it will, there may not be enough sediment to rebuild the land. In that case, the Wadden Sea would be completely submerged, obliterating a prime bird sanctuary and some unique scenery.

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