Kreftenheye Formation

Formal (Zonneveld 1959). Amended (Doppert et al. 1975; Busschers & Weerts 2003).
Lithological description

Yellowish grey to greyish brown medium to very coarse sand, moderately to very gravelly. Locally, fine to coarse gravel in lags. Subordinate silty clay beds and sporadic clayey peat layers.

Depositional setting

Braided and meandering fluvioglacial (northerly crystalline material and flint) and fluvial (Rhine and its precursors), including braided and meandering stream, and braidplain and floodplain (Busschers 2008). Lacustrine.

Definition of lower boundary

Usually sharp contact, marked by a gravelly channel lag. Unconformable contact with finer fluvial sand and clay (Urk, Sterksel, Waalre, Stramproy and Kieseloolite Formations), till (Gieten Member, Drente Formation), or glaciolacustrine clay and fine sand (Uitdam Member, Drente Formation). Diffuse transition into coarse and gravelly Meuse sand (Beegden Formation), partially gradual transition into fluvioglacial sand (Schaarsbergen Member, Drente Formation). Stiff silty clay (Wijchen Bed) locally unconformably on top of periglacial sand (Boxtel Formation).

Definition of upper boundary

Top partly marked by stiff silty clay (Wijchen Bed) with a palaeosol. Unconformable, locally gradual transition into softer humic clay and finer, more micaceous and carbonate-rich sand (Echteld Formation), finer periglacial coversand (Boxtel Formation), or peat Basal Peat Bed, Nieuwkoop Formation). Generally sharp contact with shelly marine sand (Eem Formation) or finer, more clayey and calcareous tidal sand (Naaldwijk Formation).

Thickness indication
Up to about 100 m but generally 10 - 25 m.
Geographical distribution
Offshore, increasingly fragmentary toward the Belgian part of the North Sea.
Regional correlation
North Sea: Kreftenheye Formation (mapped in conjunction with the British and Belgian Geological Surveys; Laban et al. 1992; UK: not present; GER: Jüngere en Ältere Niederterrasse en een deel van de Untere Mittelterrasse 4 (Klostermann, 1992); BEL: not present.
late Middle Pleistocene (late Saalian) - early Holocene.
Depth (thickness) AH:
4.50 - 26.00 (21.5 m) below land surface
Depth (thickness) AH:
26.50 - 42.75 m (16.25 m) below land surface
Depth (thickness) AH:
9 - 21 m (12 m) below land surface
Depth (thickness) AH:
3 - 116 m (113 m) below land surface
Origin of name
Named after the farm ‘Kreftenheye’ near the Dutch-German border, northwest of Duisburg.
Previous name(s)
Reviewed by (date)
Wim Dubelaar (2018), Sytze van Heteren (2019).
Busschers, F.S. 2008. Unravelling the Rhine. Response of a fluvial system to climate change, sea-level oscillation and glaciation. PhD Thesis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 184 p.
Busschers, F.S., Weerts, H.J.T. 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.
Klostermann, J. 1992. Das Quartär der Niederrheinischen Bucht. Ablagerungen der letzten Eiszeit am Niederrhein. Geologisches Landesamt Nordrhein-Westfalen, Krefeld.
Laban, C., Schüttenhelm, R.T.E., Balson, P.S., Baeteman, C., Paepe, R. 1992. Ostend, Sheet 51° N - 02° E. Quaternary Geology (1:250.000). National Environmental Research Council.
Zonneveld, J.I.S. 1958. Litho-stratigrafische eenheden in het Nederlandse Pleistoceen. Mededelingen van de Geologische Stichting, Nieuwe Serie 12, 31-64.
Cite as
TNO-GDN ([YEAR]). Kreftenheye Formation. In: Stratigraphic Nomenclature of the Netherlands, TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands. Accessed on [DATE] from