The Bromacker Project (https://bromacker.de/) investigates the paleoecology of the Early Permian vertebrate “Ursaurier” lagerstätte of the same name in the red beds of the Tambach Formation, Thuringia. Its geologic-paleontologic subproject aims to contribute key paleoenvironmental parameters such as temperature variation, precipitation estimates, paleoelevation, soil hydrology, detailed paleogeography, and depositional environments, based on sedimentology, paleoichnology, facies analysis, petrography, geochemistry, and precise depositional ages.
Two new deep research boreholes will complement information from shallow legacy boreholes and outcrops near the Bromacker excavation site. Forschungsbohrung (Fb) Altenbergen 01/2022, 3 km to the north, cored 250 m of the Tambach Formation and terminated in conglomerates (Bielstein Member) after having cored the topmost Finsterbergen Conglomerate Member and the Tambach Sandstone Member. Contacts between members in core are gradual but differences pronounced: The basal Bielstein Member is dominated by well-rounded intermediate volcanic clasts, in contrast to felsic volcanic clasts described from outcrops. Fossiliferous pelitic-arenaceous redbeds of the overlying Tambach Sandstone Member show all indications of floodplain facies, including mudcracks, variable burrowing, root horizons, calcareous paleosol concretions, climbing ripples, and common laminated siltstones. Conglomerates of the topmost Finsterbergen Member consist of subangular plutonic, metamorphic and (sub-)volcanic clasts. Several newly documented thin felsic tuffs may be datable. Geophysical logs suggest rhythmic deposition suitable for cyclostratigraphic analysis. Fb Gallberg 01/2023, located 2 km south of the Bromacker excavation site, will complement Fb Altenbergen. Information from both boreholes will contribute to a robust sedimentologic-stratigraphic frame for paleogeographic-paleoecologic analyses. A substantial education and outreach program accompanies excavation, drilling and core analysis.