Neueste Geotope

The Scheibenberg near Annaberg

Near the city of Annaberg in the southwestern Ore Mountains in southeastern Germany there is the Scheibenberg with a large outcrop in an abandoned quarry, which cuts in half the summit area of the Scheibenberg and provides an excellent insight into the interior of the mountain. The famous organ pipes of the Scheibenberg are basalt columns of a basalt flow from the Oligocene. Since the 16th century, the hard basalts in the vicinity of the towns of Schlettau and Scheibenberg have been mined for building purposes, worked up as road paving or crushed into gravel. In the 19th century, clays found under the basalts were also mined. Until 1936, basalt columns were broken on the Scheibenberg, before it was put under protection in 1937. The aim was not to further destroy the basalt columns, but rather to preserve them for posterity as an object worthy of special protection. In 2006 the Scheibenberg was raised to the “National Geotope”, an award that was given to a total of 77 geotopes throughout Germany by the Academy of Geosciences in Hannover. In 2019, the geotope was also put under the protection of the UNESCO World Heritage montane region/Krušnohoří. … Continue readingThe Scheibenberg near Annaberg

The Bromacker

The Bromacker is a fossil site for early Permian vertebrates, which are preserved here three-dimensionally and often completely. The ecosystem with many herbivores and few predators (similar to today) and the possibility to find trace fossils and their producers next to each other makes this site unique compared to other fossil sites of similar age. This is why it is part of the UNESCO Global Geopark Thüringen Inselsberg-Drei Gleichen and also the subject of ongoing research, which can be visited on site or online. … Continue readingThe Bromacker

The Devil’s Wall at Königstein

In the northern Harz foreland between Ballenstedt in the east and Blankenburg in the west, steep, sometimes meter-high sandstone cliffs form an imposing natural phenomenon over a length of approx. 20 km, which is known as the Teufelsmauer. The rugged, erosion-resistant cliffs are formed by layers of silicified sandstone, the formation of which is associated with the uplift of the Harz Mountains and their overthrust to the northern foreland during the Upper Cretaceous. The Königstein, Mittelstein and Papenstein sections south and south-west of Weddersleben have been under nature protection since 1935. In 2006, the Teufelsmauer was awarded national geotope status and is now an important geopoint in the UNESCO Geopark Harz – Braunschweiger Land – Ostfalen. … Continue readingThe Devil’s Wall at Königstein

The “Lange Wand” (long wall)

The “Lange Wand” is like a window into Earth’s history: from the Ilfeld porphyry (280 million years) to the copper shale and the Zechstein limestone (250 million years). In the mine of the same name, copper shale has been mined since the 16th century. Here, in addition to cobalt ore and barite, you can also admire fish fossils, the so-called “copper shale herring”. … Continue readingThe “Lange Wand” (long wall)

The Heeseberg

About 25 km southwest of Braunschweig, the 200 m high Heeseberg rises above the northern Harz foreland. It lies in the southeastern extension of the Asse and belongs geologically to the Asse-Heeseberg structure, a narrow, elongated fold anticline that contains a salt dome in its center (Fig. 1). In the former Asse salt mine, the salts of the Zechstein were mined for many years. Today it is known nationwide for the storage of low-level radioactive waste that has taken place since the 1970s. … Continue readingThe Heeseberg

The Korbach fissure

Along with the UNESCO World Heritage site “Grube Messel” near Darmstadt, the fossil site “Korbacher Spalte” (Korbach fissure) is the most important paleontological site in Hesse and our newest geosite of the 30 Geotope³-series. The findings of Europe’s oldest fossil-bearing fissure filling mark the initial evolutionary phase of mammalian development in the Permian geological era. The fissure in the limestone was created around 255 million years ago in Late Permian (Zechstein) by an earthquake and was uncovered in 1964. … Continue readingThe Korbach fissure

The Nördlinger Ries impact crater

About 15 million years ago, an asteroid more than a kilometer in size collided with the Earth and struck what is now southern Germany. A crater, 25 kilometer in diameter, was created, which is still preserved today: the Nördlinger Ries. We invite you to discover the crater with two 3D models: first, a model of the entire crater and second, a centimeter-scale model of the Aumühle quarry, one of the most exciting geotopes of the Ries crater. … Continue readingThe Nördlinger Ries impact crater