Results of sedimentological analyses (grain-size distribution, bulk and clay mineralogy, TC/TOC) from ODP Site 987 show that the sedimentary succession off Scoresby Sund fjord complex consists of three dominantly hemipelagic phases (with varying input from ice rafting) and two debris flow units. The presence of ice on continental central East Greenland throughout the last ~7.5 Ma is indicated by the continuous presence of clasts in the sediments. The debris flow units, with bases at ~5 Ma and ~2.6 Ma respectively are interpreted to represent major glacial advances across the central East Greenland shelf. It is suggested that the shelf areas were free of any major ice during the hemipelagic phases. Based on mineralogy and clast (>1 cm) compositions, a progressive upward shift in the main sediment source area from volcanic regions to the sedimentary Jameson Land is proposed.