Abstracted/indexed

Abstracted/indexed
Volume 1
DEUQUA Spec. Pub., 1, 53-77, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/deuquasp-1-53-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
DEUQUA Spec. Pub., 1, 53-77, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/deuquasp-1-53-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  20 Aug 2018

20 Aug 2018

Field Trip D (27 September 2018): characteristics and development of the Mesozoic–Tertiary weathering mantle and Pleistocene periglacial slope deposits in the Hintertaunus mountainous region

Peter Felix-Henningsen Peter Felix-Henningsen
  • Institut f. Bodenkunde und Bodenerhaltung, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26, 35392 Gießen, Germany

Abstract. The Devonian slates and sandstones of the Rhenish Massif were subject to deep and intensive weathering under (sub)tropical climate conditions during the Cretaceous, the Paleogene and the Neogene, which caused the development of a weathering mantle (regolith)  > 100m thick, consisting of kaolinitic saprolite and paleosols as well as correlated sediments. Especially the tectonic uplift of the Rhenish Massif and climate change during the Neogene and the Pleistocene led to a vast denudation of the weathering mantle. Only in less uplifted areas of the mountainous region did thick remnants of saprolites remain, and they were covered by Neogene sediments as well as Quaternary periglacial slope deposits. As the kaolinitic weathering products serve as raw materials for the clay industry, unique exposures are available in the Hintertaunus which offer impressive insights into the landscape development of the past  ∼ 80 million years: the excursion proceeds from Giessen to Limburg and further south and southwest to the eastern and western Hintertaunus area. At site 1 near the village of Langhecke, characteristics and properties of the fresh, unweathered slates will be demonstrated. Excursion sites 2 and 3 are situated near the village of Eisenbach. In two open-cast clay mines, both a terrestrial and a semi-terrestrial saprolite from silt slate, covered by periglacial layers, are exposed. Properties and genesis will be discussed on the basis of morphological characteristics and mineralogical and geochemical analyses, as well as isovolumetric elemental mass balances. At site 4 a former basalt quarry near the village of Biebrich exposes a Paleogene Plinthosol above saprolite. The autochthonous paleosol was preserved below Upper Oligocene basalt tuff and periglacial layers. Site 5 is situated within a huge pit for mining of Upper Oligocene to Miocene quartz gravel near the village of Wasenbach. A Miocene Plinthosol developed from alluvial sediments on top of the gravel beds and was covered by periglacial slope deposits. At nearly all sites the basal layers of the periglacial cover beds consist of kaolinitic paleosol/saprolite material, which has an important influence on the site properties of the Holocene soils.

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