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The geology of the South-Eastern Harz Foreland visualized in a 3D-Model

The Central European Basin is an intracontinental basin filled with Permian to Quaternary sediments. The southeastern basin rim, an area roughly covering the southern part of Saxony-Anhalt and eastern Thuringia (Central Germany), is characterized by complex facies distributions with a stratigraphic gap of approximately 200 Ma, where Cenozoic sediments unconformably cover the lower Triassic strata. The sedimentary rocks include several hundreds of meters thick evaporites, sandstone, shale, and carbonates of Permian to Late Triassic age, covered by unconsolidated sediments.

Various tectonic structures like NW-SE trending uplifted basement e. g. the Harz and Kyffhäuser Mountains and narrow fault zones where some abruptly ending along-strike; subordinated NE-SW trending faults sub-parallel to the Permian basin rim and salt structures characterise the area. These structures evolved during several phases of extension and contraction during Mesozoic to Cenozoic times. Due to the stratigraphic gap of the upper Mesozoic, tectonic and halokinetic processes can be well correlated with the wider Central European Basin and earlier structures. Local halokinetic processes and subrosion of evaporites indicated by the distribution of Tertiary deposits as well as variation of the thickness of evaporites influencing the geomorphology at the South-Eastern Harz Foreland until today.

Here, we used 3D modelling techniques and compiled data from drilling, seismic reflection profiles and historic mining surveys to visualize the temporal - spatial distribution and structural configuration of the South-Eastern Harz Foreland. This model will be used to unravel kinematic processes over geologic times, which will be a basis for future underground planning efforts.


Melanie Siegburg1, Alexander Malz1, Tilman J. Jeske1, Christian-Olaf Müller1, Ivo Rappsilber1
1Landesamt für Geologie und Bergwesen Sachsen-Anhalt (LAGB), Halle (Saale), Germany
GeoBerlin 2023