The Forest Research Area in Liliental

The Geology

It has already been mentioned that the Kaiserstuhl has volcanic origins. The area's creation falls into the geological time period of the Miocene (12-23 million years ago) and lies in connection with the collapse of the upper Rhine valley, which crosses with the fracture system of the Bonndorfer rift valley at this point. There is however, little evidence of the volcanic rocks since 80% of the Kaiserstuhl is covered with a  Loess layer up to 60 m thick.


Loess wall

Loess is a wind deposit made up of fine dusty sand, which was blown out of the upper Rhine valley debris fields during the ice age. Each mineral core is covered by a chalk husk, which gives a very porous, rich and therefore loose, soil. Accordingly, the danger of erosion is high. Characteristic of the Kaiserstuhl landscape are the many erosion gorges in the soil with their vertical walls. Because of this soil property of the loess, the artificial creation of terraces and deeply sunken paths and roads is made easily possible (see map 4).


'Hohlweg'  betwen steep walls of loess

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