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

Dinosaur tracks in the Obernkirchen Sandstone (Lower Saxony)

Some of the layers of the Obernkirchen Sandstone show countless footprints of different dinosaurs. Some 140 Ma ago, carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs lived in this area. Parts of the track-bearing layers are openly accessible and offer a brief view into the era of these ancient beasts.
Dinosaurs are an extremely successful group of terrestrial vertebrates and almost everyone has heard about the countless spectacular dinosaur fossils from Asia and South America. Furthermore, there are lots of fossils of these creatures known from several locations across Europe. One of these locations is the Bückeberg near Obernkirchen in Lower Saxony, Germany. Here, the dinosaurs literally left their traces… … Continue readingDinosaur tracks in the Obernkirchen Sandstone (Lower Saxony)

The Externsteine

The Externsteine are a group of spectacular sandstone rocks located within the Teutoburg Forest. The rocks were formed from sediment that accumulated within a marine basin many millions of years ago, which after burial and lithification were tectonically uplifted and tilted. People have visited the rocks for many hundreds of years and they are regarded as a place of worship. Humans have now changed the appearance of the rocks by building bridges and stairs. There are also artificial caves and carvings. … Continue readingThe Externsteine

The Dohlenstein

The Dohlenstein is a huge landslide in the Saale valley, which is active since at least 1740. The largest landslides have even changed the course of the Saale river. Here, rocks of the Muschelkalk overlie Buntsandstein units (Triassic). The uppermost layers of the Buntsandstein consist of mudstones. There, water accumulates in the rock and a sliding surface is formed. On this sliding surface the overlying rocks move towards the valley and form a large debris cone. The landslide cliff can be seen from afar as a bright white, vertical rock face. … Continue readingThe Dohlenstein