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The structure of Börnersdorf (Osterzgebirge) – an evidence of a maar volcano

During a mapping-project in 2011, evidence of a sediment occurrence was discovered within a morphological depression of a gneiss area in the Osterzgebirge near the village of Börnersdorf (Saxony). Marls and partly sandstones, presumably Cretaceous in age, were described by means of drill cores from the 1960s.

The short wells drilled around 2010 supported this assumption. Results of several geophysical investigations displayed a basin structure with 600 m in diameter and up to 350 m in depth. Paleontological data of the examined marls pointed to a Coniacian age of the sediments that infill the structure. Until recently, the structure was interpreted as either a tectonic pull apart basin or a maar structure.

In 2021, first investigations for a new railway track from Dresden to Prague were carried out.

In order to realize this project, a tunnel of about 30 km in length crossing the Erzgebirge is planned. Therefore, several new wells were sunk in the area of investigation. One of the cores near Börnersdorf provided a breccia of grey marl and black silt pebbles and cobbles. As there is not a tectonic contact between the breccia and the surrounding gneiss, the sediment is interpreted as a collapse breccia. New paleontological examinations proof a late Turonian to middle Coniacian age of the marls.


Ottomar Krentz1, Frank Horna2
1Dr. Spang GmbH Witten/Freiberg, Germany; 2Sächsisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie Dresden/Freiberg
GeoBerlin 2023