Distribution, abundance and age of diapause eggs from three species of calanoid copepods (in particular from Acartia spp. most likely Acartia tonsa, and Centropages hamatus and less numerous from Temora longicornis) were recorded in sediment profiles by enumerating hatched nauplii from incubated sediment samples. Phytoplankton pigments and 210Pb and 137Cs analyses indicated that the sedimentation regimes were different between two southern and two northern stations of the island Funen, Denmark. Significant variations in vertical distribution, abundance and mortality of diapause eggs were found between the stations. Dating of the sediment cores suggested a ~70-year maximum age of viable eggs on the northernmost stations, and ~28 year at the southernmost stations. The eggs exhibited a significantly higher mortality rate at the southernmost stations compared with the northernmost, 0.35–0.53 year−1 vs. 0.07–0.08 year−1 with no systematic pattern among species. The differences in abundance, mortality and age of the diapause eggs are suggested to be due to the sediment characteristics in which they are buried.