Appelscha Formation

Formal (Bosch 2003).
Lithological description

Light grey to light yellow fine to very coarse sand, non-calcareous, gravelly. Subordinate fine to very coarse gravel characterized by porphyry, lydite, radiolarite and transparent quartz. Locally, clay layers top fining-upward sequences marked by large-scale cross-bedded sets. Small percentages of tourmaline and other metamorphic minerals, as well as topaz, are characteristic (Rees Vellinga & De Ridder 1975; Zandstra 1971).

Depositional setting

Braidplain of easterly rivers supplying sediment sourced partly in central and eastern Germany.

Definition of lower boundary

Gradual transition into older fluvial sand (Peize Formation). Locally sharp contact, where the top of the Peize Formation consists of pebbles and cobbles (Hattem Beds; Zandstra 1971).

Definition of upper boundary

Generally obscure contact with yellow, more calcareous fluvial sand and gravel (with more milky quartz; Sterksel and Urk Formations), which is partially reworked from the Appelscha Formation.

Thickness indication
On land, up to about 50 m; mean thickness is 20-40 m. Offshore, thicker.
Geographical distribution
Offshore, the unit extends into the northern part of the Dutch North Sea.
Regional correlation
North Sea: Upper northerly part of the Yarmouth Roads Formation (Stoker et al. 2011; indicated as the informal Formation 4.1.1. by Rijsdijk et al. 2005); UK: not present; GER: not distinguished; BEL: not present.
Middle Pleistocene (Bavelian to Cromerian C).
Depth (thickness) AH:
62 - 82 m (20 m) below land surface
Depth (thickness) AH:
43.25 - 73.25 m (30 m) below land surface
Origin of name
Named after the village of Appelscha in the northern Netherlands.
Previous name(s)
Enschede Formation (Doppert et al. 1975), except the Hattem Beds (now assigned to the Peize Formation). Includes deposits of the 'Mixing zone of the Urk Formation' (Urk b. cf. Doppert et al. 1975).
Reviewed by (date)
Wim Dubelaar (2018), Sytze van Heteren (2019).
Bosch, J.H.A. 2003. Beschrijving lithostratigrafische eenheid. Nederlands Instituut voor Toegepaste Geowetenschappen TNO. Utrecht.
Doppert, J.W.Chr., Ruegg, G.H.J., Van Staalduinen, C.J., Zagwijn, W.H., Zandstra, J.G. 1975. Formaties van het Kwartair en Boven-Tertiair in Nederland. In: Zagwijn, W.H., Van Staalduinen, C.J. (eds.): Toelichting bij geologische overzichtskaarten van Nederland. Rijks Geologische Dienst, Haarlem, 11-56.
Rijsdijk, K.F., Passchier, S., Weerts, H.J.T., Laban, C., Van Leeuwen, R.J.W., Ebbing, J.H.J. 2005. Revised Upper Cenozoic stratigraphy of the Dutch sector of the North Sea Basin: towards an integrated lithostratigraphic, seismostratigraphic and allostratigraphic approach. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 84, 129-146.
Stoker, M.S., Balson, P.S., Long, D., Tappin, D.R. 2011. An overview of the lithostratigraphical framework for the Quaternary deposits on the United Kingdom continental shelf. British Geological Survey Research Report, RR/11/03, 48 p.
Van Rees Vellinga, E., De Ridder, N.A. 1973. Notes on the Tertiary and Pleistocene geology of East Gelderland, The Netherlands. Eiszeitalter und Gegenwart, 23/24, 26-45.
Zandstra, J.G. 1971. Geologisch onderzoek in de stuwwal van de oostelijke Veluwe bij Hattem en Wapenveld. Mededelingen Rijks Geologische Dienst, Nieuwe Serie 22, 215-259.
Cite as
TNO-GDN ([YEAR]). Appelscha Formation. In: Stratigraphic Nomenclature of the Netherlands, TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands. Accessed on [DATE] from