Geology of Denmark Survey Bulletin 37 - 2001

The Selandian (Paleocene) mollusc fauna from Copenhagen, Denmark: the Poul Harder 1920 collection

Kaj Ingemann Schnetler

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries during urban excavations in the Copenhagen area, a rich mollusc fauna was recovered from the early Selandian (Late Paleocene) Lellinge Greensand. One location, Sundkrogen, attracted particular attention since the molluscs collected in 1920 from the newly exposed strata here became the subject of a long-lasting controversy about publication rights. One aspect of this conflict was that the collection made by Poul Harder was never studied in detail.

This bulletin recalls the controversy and describes the now submerged Sundkrogen locality in the context of a detailed study of the molluscs from this, and other, Danish localities. The study recognises 27 new mollusc species and one new genus. Selandian stratigraphy and palaeoenvironment are described, and affinities to other faunas in Europe and Greenland are discussed.