In terms of geology Amrum is a young beauty. About 200,000 years ago during the 2nd last ice age giant glaciers transported large amounts of rubble when expanding from Scandinavia to Middle Europe and thus creating Amrum. Without the Saale ice age Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Sylt, Föhr and also Amrum would not exist. North Sea and Baltic Sea would be one single ocean.
Amrum is a moraine from this ice age. Near Nebel and Steenodde the moraines can be as high as 18m above sea level. Much later, after the beginning of the common era, another increase in the sea level and after the last ice age, the so-called ‘Blanke Hans’ started to form the scenery of the island. In the North large amounts of sand formed the northern end called Odde; same for the southern end, which is today known as Wittdün. Between both spits soft wet lands and salt meadows emerged – again from accumulations of sand and other materials from the sea. During the 14th century dunes arose above the island’s geest.
Geologists even today wonder where all the amounts of sand came from within only a short period of time. The dunes near Norddorf and north-west of Wittdün can be up to 32m high. Dunes emerged from the sea but where from did wind and waves take these huge amounts of sand. A possible explanation might be that during a small ice age between the 14th and 16th century the decreasing sea level layed open a wide strand giving the wind the possibility to form huge sand dunes. Sylt’s dunes also did not exist before the 14th century.