Maassluis Formation

Formal (Doppert et al. 1975). Amended (Huizer & Weerts 2003).
Lithological description

Coarsening upward. Fining from southeast to northwest. Grey very fine to medium sand, usually micaceous and calcareous, shelly, slightly glauconitic. Intercalated light to dark grey clay, commonly silty or sandy, micaceous and calcareous with marine shells. Locally, basal gravel. Near the top, freshwater shells mixed with marine shells.

Depositional setting

Shallow marine near-coastal (shallowing; coarsest in the coastal zone).

Definition of lower boundary

Mostly gradual transition into slightly finer and more glauconitic shallow-marine sand (Oosterhout Formation). Sharp contact with marine clay (Wouw Member, Oosterhout Formation), or with commonly non-calcareous near-coastal and deltaic sand and gravel devoid of shells (Peize Formation).

Definition of upper boundary

Commonly sharp, partly erosive contact with fluvial and estuarine sand and clay with few marine shells (Peize and Waalre Formations). Diffuse transition where reworked Maassluis shells are incorporated into these overlying units. Erosive contact with subglacial and ice-marginal sand (Peelo Formation) or with clastic tidal deposits (Naalwijk Formation).

Thickness indication
Up to about 250 m, thickening toward the northwest.
Geographical distribution
Laso extensive offshore. Landward transition into lagoonal and fluvial deposits (Peize Formation).
Regional correlation
North Sea: Westkapelle Ground Formation (defined and mapped in conjunction with the British Geological Survey; Cameron et al. 1984); UK: possible onshore equivalents are the Red Crag and Norwich Crag Formations (Mathers & Zalasiewicz 1988; Gibbard et al. 1998); GER: not present; BEL: Merksplas and Lillo Formations (Vernes et al. 2018).
early Pleistocene (Pretiglian - Tiglian), base can be late Pliocene (Reuverian).
B37B0025 (Maassluis)
Replaced by a lectostratotype that better reflects the lithology of the unit.
Depth (thickness) AH:
103-206 m (103 m) below land surface
Origin of name
Named after the village of Maassluis, west of Rotterdam in the western Netherlands.
Previous name(s)
Icenien deposits (Pannekoek 1956; Zonneveld 1958).
Reviewed by (date)
Wim Dubelaar (2018), Sytze van Heteren (2019).
Cameron, T.D.J., Bonny, A.P., Gregory, D.M., Harland, R. 1984. Lower Pleistocene dinoflagellate cyst, forminiferal and pollen assemblages in four boreholes in the Southern North Sea. Geological Magazine, 121 (2), 85-97.
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.
Gibbard, P.L., Zalasiewicz, J.A., Mathers, S.J. 1998. Stratigraphy of the marine Plio-Pleistocene crag deposits of East Anglia. Mededelingen Nederlands Instituut voor Toegepaste Geowetenschappen TNO, 60, 239-262.
Huizer, J., Weerts, H.J.T. 2003. Beschrijving lithostratigrafische eenheid. Nederlands Instituut voor Toegepaste Geowetenschappen TNO. Utrecht.
Mathers, S.J., Zalasiewicz, J.A. 1988. The Red Crag and Norwich Crag formations of southern East Anglia. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 99, 261-278.
Pannekoek, A.J. (ed.) 1956. De geologische geschiedenis van Nederland. Toelichting bij de geologische overzichtskaart van Nederland op de schaal 1:200.000. Staatsdrukkerij- en uitgeverijbedrijf, 's-Gravenhage.
Vernes, R.W., Deckers, J., Bakker, M.A.J., Bogemans, F., De Ceukelaire, M., Doornenbal, J.C., den Dulk, M., Dusar, M., Van Haren, T.F.M., Heyvaert, V.M.A., Kiden, P., Kruisselbrink, A.F., Lanckacker, T., Menkovic, A., Meyvis, B., Munsterman, D.K., Reindersma, R., ten Veen, J.H., van de Ven, T.J.M., Walstra, J., Witmans, N. 2018. Geologisch en hydrogeologisch 3D model van het Cenozoïcum van de Belgisch-Nederlandse grensstreek van Midden-Brabant / De Kempen (H3O – De Kempen). Studie uitgevoerd door VITO, TNO-Geologische Dienst Nederland en de Belgische Geologische Dienst in opdracht van Vlaams Planbureau voor Omgeving, Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij, TNO, Geologische Dienst Nederland, Nederlandse Provincie Noord-Brabant, Brabant Water, Programmabureau KRW/DHZ Maasregio.
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]). Maassluis Formation. In: Stratigraphic Nomenclature of the Netherlands, TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands. Accessed on [DATE] from