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Møns Klint - White Cliffs Of Moen

The White Cliffs Of Moen are not the only ones of their kind. A section of the British coast at the English Channel, popularly known as The White Cliffs Of Dover, are the same kind of cliffs as the ones at Moens Klint.

Møns Klint looking North

Møns Klint is an impressive natural phenomenon. 75 million years ago, in the cretaceous period, a lot of microscopic animals with shells together with cuttlefish, sea urchins and mussels lived in a deep, tropical ocean which covered Denmark. When they died, their shells dropped to the seabed for millions of years and formed a compact layer of lime.

Møns Klint looking South

For a few million years afterwards the seabed and therefore also the chalk layer or lime stratum was raised, and when an ice age began, this layes was shaped by the pressures of the ice into about 1000 meters thick layers of chalk. Large sections of these layers were sliced off and pushed up, and Møns Klint is made up of some 20-30 such slices, with clefts between them, more or less filled with sediment and forest.

The cliffs go almost vertically down

As the ice cap melted from Denmark, glaciers moved from up North down toward and over Denmark and pushed chalk layers and other deposits together, forming the range of hills which today make up Møns Klint. There are thin layers of flint stone in the chalk which can be seen as black stripes in the chalk.

The beach below the cliffs can be walked on - with caution

When it's wet and cold, the rain and thaw erode the chalk and sedimentary layers and carry them down to the beach. The lime and clay is quickly dissolved into the sea, but the flint remains on the beach. Especially during late winter and early spring a soft mix of clay and lime flow across the beach, making it impossible to walk along the base of the cliffs. Don't try to walk across this flow - you will probably sink deep into it, as it is very soft.

The zone between vertical cliff and pieces breaking off for various reasons

The transition zone between the almost vertical cliff and the 45 degree steep section is like the cliffs you see in westerns. The changing temperatures between day and night, and in Denmark the shifts between frost and thaw, breaks pieces off of the cliff, which drop and fall on top of the 45 degree sediment zone. This is slowly withering the cliffs down, but don't worry, you'll probably be able to visit them throughout your entire lifetime - they are still 128 meters high at the highest point.

The forest around Møns Klint is wild and dense - don't expect to leave the trails

When you go from the parking lot to the cliffs, don't expect to do much exploration on your own outside the designated tracks. The forest is totally wild and untouched by humans and is very dense. It's a good thing for the fauna that lives in the area - it is home to a lot of rare birds, and the special composition of the soil because of the high lime content makes it a good place to grow for wild orchids.

 

Next - Knuthenborg Safari Park

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