Continuously growing demands for exploitation and storage in the near subsurface require up to date information on the setting of the unconsolidated Cenozoic rocks. Of special relevance are depth information on the base Quaternary for mapping Pleistocene tunnel valleys to answer hydrogeological questions and for preparing 3D subsurface models. Current studies in Saxony-Anhalt still incorporate the results of the map series “Lithofazieskarte Quartär” (LKQ), which was prepared between 1968 to 1984. However, newly available evidence from digitized seismic depth maps and drilling results suggest an update of the depth information of the base Quaternary in Saxony-Anhalt.
In a first step, wells penetrating the Quaternary were exported from the well database of Saxony-Anhalt and their stratigraphies were simplified. Relevant wells were subsequently selected by unambiguous stratigraphy, similarity of well elevation with DGM height, cross validation and comparison to the well database of the LKQ. The remaining 85.000 relevant wells were combined with newly stratified wells and digitized isobaths of the base Quaternary from seismic data and former studies to a new base map. Subsequent quality control comprised tests of different gridding algorithms and profile drawing.
The new depth map of the base Quaternary reveals updated pathways of Pleistocene tunnel valleys of up to 500 m thickness in the Altmark region and in Eastern Saxony-Anhalt. Here, changes to the LKQ are largest. Minor differences are observed in the western and southern parts of Saxony-Anhalt with thicknesses usually less than 50 m.