Morphotectonic analysis of basement and cover units in eastern Bavaria, SE Germany - insights into the deeper crustal architecture?

Conference contribution
(Abstract of a poster)

Publication Details

Author(s): Eberts A, Schaarschmidt A, Bauer W, Stollhofen H, de Wall H
Publication year: 2018
Language: English


The topographic expression of landscapes directly depends on the interaction between exposed rock type, erosion and tectonic deformation. In areas where high rates of active deformation pre-vail, the effects of faulting and folding are often immediately transferred to the Earth’s surface. By contrast, in areas where ongoing, rapid deformation is absent, as it is assumed for large parts of eastern Bavaria, erosional processes need to utilize gradients in erodibility to uncover already existent tectonic structures. In that case, resulting topographic features are not visible as well-defined fault scarps but as linear to curvilinear river valleys, ridgelines or slope breaks. Because these lineaments outline structures that formed during ancient tectonic events, mapping of them yields important information about the general structural framework of the subsurface.
Here, we present results from an integrated study, using high-resolution digital elevation models from airborne LiDAR surveys combined with gravity data to reveal the morphotectonic feature inventory of eastern Bavaria, SE Germany, and its relation to the underlying crustal architecture. The studied area comprises the western border zone of the Bohemian Massif, a region well known for hosting some of the largest fault zones existing in Central Europe, such as the Pfahl Fault Zone (PFZ) and Danube Fault Zone (DFZ). Post-Variscan to Alpine reactivation of earlier struc-tures led to a complex structural pattern along these faults and ultimately resulted in the uplifted and exposed basement complex of the Bohemian Massif.
Our results show that the investigated area is segmented into several domains of different orders. 1st order domains, best delineated in gravity data, are thought to represent large crustal blocks which partly root into the upper mantle. These are assigned to the Saxothuringian, Teplá-Barran-dian and Moldanubian crustal units. In contrast, 2nd order domains additionally show distinct var-iations in the arrangement of topographic lineaments and in other DEM-specific parameters such as surface roughness indices and altitude distributions. In the Bavarian Forest, for example, a central domain of high gravity is also characterized by predominantly N-S oriented lineaments and an increased surface roughness. Furthermore, 2nd order domains are separated by large topographic lineaments, some of which situated in close vicinity to already known fault zones such as the PFZ and DFZ. However, our study also identifies previously unknown locations of ancient fault zones, ultimately indicating an even more complex structural evolution and crustal architecture of eastern Bavaria and the western border zone of the Bohemian Massif.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Bauer, Wolfgang Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Geologie (Exogene Dynamik)
de Wall, Helga Prof. Dr.
Professur für Tektonik
Eberts, Andreas
Lehrstuhl für Geologie (Exogene Dynamik)
Schaarschmidt, Anna
Lehrstuhl für Endogene Geodynamik
Stollhofen, Harald Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Geologie (Exogene Dynamik)

Research Fields

Deep geothermal energy
Lehrstuhl für Geologie (Exogene Dynamik)
Basin analysis
Lehrstuhl für Geologie (Exogene Dynamik)
Climate and Resources
Research focus area of a faculty: Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

How to cite

Eberts, A., Schaarschmidt, A., Bauer, W., Stollhofen, H., & de Wall, H. (2018). Morphotectonic analysis of basement and cover units in eastern Bavaria, SE Germany - insights into the deeper crustal architecture? Poster presentation at GeoBonn 2018, University of Bonn, Bonn, DE.

Eberts, Andreas, et al. "Morphotectonic analysis of basement and cover units in eastern Bavaria, SE Germany - insights into the deeper crustal architecture?" Presented at GeoBonn 2018, University of Bonn, Bonn 2018.


Last updated on 2018-07-09 at 14:53