International excursion 2018 to Germany

Soils and land use in the upper Rhine graben and cuesta landscapes

Key-words: landscapes, geohydrology, paleosols, land use, culture
Timing: from 21 – 25 May 2018
The 2018 SSSB excursion will be hosted by our German colleagues from Hohenheim University, Baden- Württemberg. We shall witness soilscapes and land use developed in unique geomorphological landscapes related to the Rhine River graben and its related cuesta landscapes. The geological setting comprise strata varying from old granites, Jurassic clays and sandstone, to more recent mid-rift volcanics and loess. Together with altitude differences ranging from 100 to 1500 meters above sea level, ingredients are present for a myriad of soil types to evolve. Together with scholars from Hohenheim University our Belgian participants will be in a position to explore these soilscapes and land use and above all reflect on land use, sustainability in a perspective of cultural history.

Itinary: Leuven – Aachen – Mainz – Mannheim – Karlsruhe – Kappelrodeck – Offenburg – Riegel – Kaiserstuhl – Breisach – Kappelrodeck – Bühl – Baden-Baden – Rastatt – Rhine – Kappelrodeck – Ruhestein – Hornisgrinde – Klosterreichenbach – Grömbach – Mitteltal – Kappelrodeck – Karlruhe – Cologne – Leuven


Monday 21/05/18: Departure  to Baden-Wurttemberg

  • Meeting Prof. Karl Stahr and his team at the fuel station (Autobahn Achern –B3- Achern/ Fauthenbach fuel station opposite the church)
  • Evening stop (sundowner at Soil Profile 1362, Achan Fautenbach

Tuesday 22/05/18:

  • The Kaisterstuhl: basaltic/tephritic volcano reknowned for its typical Carbonatite and Limburgite parent material (augite pyroxene): paleosols and present day soils derived from volcanics and from Loess,
  • Soils from volcanics and loess in the hottest place of Germany
  • Breisach: Cultural place of roman occupation ( until 400 AD), then French (1600 – 1800 AD)

Field lunch and dinner in typical vineyard area

Wednesday 23/05/18

  • Cross section of the upper Rhine graben near Karlsruhe: banded argic horizon, terrace landscapes, Rhine river alluvium, active floodplain, Chernitza soils (Phaeozems?), Vega autochnonous Cambisol, Gleysols, late-glacial dune complex with Arenosols
  • Agricultural land use on relic floodplain and lower terrace and different characteristic forests on floodplain and lower terrace.

Thursday 24/05/18

  • Transect through the northern Black Forest
  • Soils on granite/ saprolite: Cambisols on peri-glacial deposits
  • Soils on Buntsandstein: soils with thin iron pan, Podzols, Stagnosols
  • Raised bog soils (Histosols) at Hornisgrinde
  • Soil catena with dystric Cambisol, histic Planosol, and ocreous slope gley
  • Glacial and periglacial landscapes

Photo report