E&G – Quaternary Science Journal

Vol. 57 No 3-4: The Heidelberg Basin Drilling Project

Editor-in-chief Holger Freund
Guest Editor Gerald Gabriel, Dietrich Ellwanger, Christian Hoselmann, Michael Weidenfeller
Editor DEUQUA – Deutsche Quartärvereinigung e.V.
Tags oberrheingraben, pollenanalyse, korrelation, sedimente, heidelberger becken, bohrprojekt, ludwigshafen, heidelberg basin, viernheim, forschungsbohrung, depozentrum, sedimentakkumulation, pleistozän, pilozän, pleistozäne mollusken, waal-warmzeit, lumineszenz-datierung
Journal 184 pages URN Licence 80x15
Format 17 x 24 cm DOI 10.3285/eg.57.3-4 Language English, German
Binding Softcover ISSN 0424-7116 Released 2009-04-01
Viewer PDF 10 MB Print €54.00



Since Late Pliocene / Early Pleistocene, the River Rhine, as one of the largest European rivers, has acted as the only drainage system that connected the Alps with Northern Europe, especially the North Sea. Along its course from the Alps to the English Channel the river passes several geomorphological and geological units, of which the Upper Rhine Graben acts as the major sediment trap. Whereas the potential of sediment preservation of the alpine foreland basins is low due to the high dynamics of the system, and the area of deposition close to the North Sea was signifi cantly affected several times by Pleistocene sea level changes, the ongoing subsidence of the Upper Rhine Graben offers a unique potential for a continuous sediment accumulation and preservation. The two major sediment traps are the Geiswasser Basin to the south and the Heidelberg Basin farther to the north. Generally the mean grain size of the deposited alpine sediments in the Upper Rhine Graben decreases from south to north. In the Upper Rhine Graben, the Heidelberg Basin acts as the distal sediment trap for alpine sediments transported northwards by the River Rhine. Here, continuous sediment deposition is less disturbed by signifi cant unconformities than in the south. Therefore, the Heidelberg Basin defi nes a key location to understand the glacial evolution of the Alps since Late Pliocene, and moreover to compare it with that of Northern Europe (ELLWANGER et al. 2005).

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