The Elm is a range of hills north of the Harz mountains in the Helmstedt and Wolfenbüttel districts of Lower Saxony, Germany. It has a width of 3 -- 8 km and rises to an elevation of 323 meters. Surrounded by the Northern European Lowlands, the Elm is uninhabited and the largest beech forest in Northern Germany; the hills are of a triassic limestone called Elmkalkstein. Together with the neighbouring Lappwald range, the Elm has been a protected nature park since 1977; the Elm is a popular among hikers and motor cyclists. Rivers originating in the Elm include: Altenau Lutter Missaue Scheppau Schunter WabeTowns on the edge of the Elm include: Königslutter Schöningen SchöppenstedtElevations Eilumer Horn Osterberg Drachenberg Burgberg Amplebener Berg Kleiner Tafelberg Kiefelhorn Großer Tafelberg Warberg Wolfsburger Kopf Heinz-Bruno Krieger: Elmsagen. Oeding, Braunschweig-Schöppenstedt 1967. Heinz Röhr: Der Elm. Oeding, Braunschweig-Schöppenstedt 1962. Media related to Elm at Wikimedia Commons
The Mesozoic Era is an interval of geological time from about 252 to 66 million years ago. It is called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers; the Mesozoic is one of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon, preceded by the Paleozoic and succeeded by the Cenozoic. The era is subdivided into three major periods: the Triassic and Cretaceous, which are further subdivided into a number of epochs and stages; the era began in the wake of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, the largest well-documented mass extinction in Earth's history, ended with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, another mass extinction whose victims included the non-avian dinosaurs. The Mesozoic was a time of significant tectonic and evolutionary activity; the era witnessed the gradual rifting of the supercontinent Pangaea into separate landmasses that would move into their current positions during the next era. The climate of the Mesozoic was varied, alternating between cooling periods. Overall, the Earth was hotter than it is today.
Dinosaurs first appeared in the Mid-Triassic, became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates in the Late Triassic or Early Jurassic, occupying this position for about 150 or 135 million years until their demise at the end of the Cretaceous. Birds first appeared in the Jurassic; the first mammals appeared during the Mesozoic, but would remain small—less than 15 kg —until the Cenozoic. The flowering plants arose in the Triassic or Jurassic and came to prominence in the late Cretaceous when they replaced the conifers and other gymnosperms as the dominant trees; the phrase "Age of Reptiles" was introduced by the 19th century paleontologist Gideon Mantell who viewed it as dominated by diapsids such as Iguanodon, Megalosaurus and Pterodactylus. Mesozoic means "middle life", deriving from the Greek prefix meso-/μεσο- for "between" and zōon/ζῷον meaning "animal" or "living being"; the name "Mesozoic" was proposed in 1840 by the British geologist John Phillips. Following the Paleozoic, the Mesozoic extended 186 million years, from 251.902 to 66 million years ago when the Cenozoic Era began.
This time frame is separated into three geologic periods. From oldest to youngest: Triassic Jurassic Cretaceous The lower boundary of the Mesozoic is set by the Permian–Triassic extinction event, during which 90% to 96% of marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrates became extinct, it is known as the "Great Dying" because it is considered the largest mass extinction in the Earth's history. The upper boundary of the Mesozoic is set at the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, which may have been caused by an asteroid impactor that created Chicxulub Crater on the Yucatán Peninsula. Towards the Late Cretaceous, large volcanic eruptions are believed to have contributed to the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. 50% of all genera became extinct, including all of the non-avian dinosaurs. The Triassic ranges from 252 million to 201 million years ago, preceding the Jurassic Period; the period is bracketed between the Permian–Triassic extinction event and the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event, two of the "big five", it is divided into three major epochs: Early and Late Triassic.
The Early Triassic, about 252 to 247 million years ago, was dominated by deserts in the interior of the Pangaea supercontinent. The Earth had just witnessed a massive die-off in which 95% of all life became extinct, the most common vertebrate life on land were lystrosaurus and euparkeria along with many other creatures that managed to survive the Permian extinction. Temnospondyls would be the dominant predator for much of the Triassic; the Middle Triassic, from 247 to 237 million years ago, featured the beginnings of the breakup of Pangaea and the opening of the Tethys Sea. Ecosystems had recovered from the Permian extinction. Algae, sponge and crustaceans all had recovered, new aquatic reptiles evolved, such as ichthyosaurs and nothosaurs. On land, pine forests flourished, as did groups of insects like mosquitoes and fruit flies. Reptiles began to get bigger and bigger, the first crocodilians and dinosaurs evolved, which sparked competition with the large amphibians that had ruled the freshwater world mammal-like reptiles on land.
Following the bloom of the Middle Triassic, the Late Triassic, from 237 to 201 million years ago, featured frequent heat spells and moderate precipitation. The recent warming led to a boom of dinosaurian evolution on land as those one began to separate from each other, as well as first pterosaurs. During the Late Triassic, some advanced cynodonts gave rise to the first Mammaliaformes. All this climatic change, resulted in a large die-out known as the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, in which many archosaurs, most synapsids, all large amphibians became extinct, as well as 34% of marine life, in the Earth's fourth mass extinction event; the cause is debatable. The Jurassic ranges from 200 million years to 145 million years ago and features three major epochs: The Early Jurassic, the Middle Jurassic, the L
The Teutoburg Forest is a range of low, forested hills in the German states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. In 9 CE, this region was the site of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest; until the 19th century the official name of the hill ridge was Osning. The Teutoburg Forest is a peripheral section in the north of the German Central Uplands, forms a long narrow range of hills extending from the eastern surroundings of Paderborn in the south to the western surroundings of Osnabrück in the northwest. South of the city centre of Bielefeld, a gap called the Bielefeld Pass bisects the range into the Northern Teutoburg Forest and Southern Teutoburg Forest. In addition, the northeastern and southwestern ridges are cut by the exits of the longitudinal valleys between the ridges; the geologically oldest ridge is the northeastern one. Most of the ridges and part of the valley are covered by deciduous forest. Parts of the valley areas are used for agriculture production of cereals; the highest elevation in the Southern Teutoburg Forest is the Velmerstot.
In the Northern Teutoburg Forest the highest elevation is the Dörenberg. The river Ems has its source at the western base of the southernmost portion of the Teutoburg Forest; the southern half of the range, situated about 30 km southwest of the Weser valley, is part of the watershed between the Ems basin in the west and the Weser basin in the east. The drainage towards the Weser is effected by the Werre river; the northwestern half of the range is drained to the river Ems on both sides. The neighbouring landscapes are the Westphalian Lowland in the west, Hase valley in the north, the hilly Ravensberg Basin in the northeast, Lippe Uplands in the east, Egge Range in the south. Except for a short area south of Osnabrück, which belongs to the Bundesland of Lower Saxony, the whole forest is part of North Rhine-Westphalia; the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 A. D. occurred near this region, though the exact location is disputed. The Roman historian Gaius Cornelius Tacitus identified the location of the battle as saltus Teutoburgiensis.
Recent excavations suggest that at least the final stages of the battle took place further northwest, at Kalkriese, north of Osnabrück. As of 2011 the Teutoburg Forest comprises two separate nature parks: TERRA.vita Nature Park, northwest part between Bielefeld and Osnabrück Teutoburg Forest / Egge Hills Nature Park between Bielefeld and river Diemel Arminius, leader of the Germanic tribes during the battle, became something of a legend for his overwhelming victory over the Romans. During the period of national renaissance in the wake of the Napoleonic wars, German people saw him as an early protagonist of German resistance to foreign rule and a symbol of national unity. A monumental statue of Arminius commemorating the battle, known as the Hermannsdenkmal, was erected on the hill of Grotenburg near Detmold, close to the site where the most popular theory of the time placed the battle. Emperor William I, the first Kaiser of the unified German Empire, dedicated the monument in 1875. A monumental statue of the emperor himself was erected on the hill of Wittekindsberg in Wiehen Hills.
In order to create a national landscape the Osning Hills were given the name "Teutoburg Forest", see Teutonic. However, the old name survived among the local population and the part of the ridge around the Ebberg near Bielefeld is still known as the Osning today; the composer Johannes Brahms liked to take walks in this forest during his stay in Detmold. Arminius / Varus; the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest - Internet-Portal "Westfälische Geschichte", LWL-Institut für westfälische Regionalgeschichte, Münster Teutoburg Forest as a holiday destination - site of regional tourism board Media related to Teutoburg Forest at Wikimedia Commons
The Siebengebirge Sieben Mountains or Seven Mountains, are a hill range of the German Central Uplands on the east bank of the Middle Rhine, southeast of Bonn. The area, located in the municipalities of Bad Honnef and Königswinter, consists of more than 40 hills; the hills came into being between 28 and 15 million years ago. Much of the territory covered by Sieben Hills belongs to the Sieben Hills Nature Park, under environmental protection; the highest peak is the Ölberg at 460 metres above sea level. It is a popular tourist destination because of its natural environment; the seven most important hills: Großer Ölberg Löwenburg Lohrberg Nonnenstromberg Petersberg Wolkenburg Drachenfels Other hills: Himmerich Trenkeberg Weilberg Stenzelberg Broderkonsberg Mittelberg Leyberg Jungfernhardt Geisberg Schallenberg Großer Breiberg Kleiner Breiberg Wasserfall Kleiner Ölberg Limperichsberg Scharfenberg Zickelburg Although some sources translate the name as Seven Hills, where sieben is modern German for "seven" and a Gebirge is a hill range, alternative derivations for the name have been suggested.
Three theories exist: The oldest name was not Siebengebirge, but Sieben Berge. Depending on the viewpoint near the river Rhine, one notices exactly seven hills, which are not always the same and not the highest; the number seven used to denote an arbitrary amount of items, was connected to magic and thus had a symbolic meaning. This makes it an obvious name for an area, said to be sinister and impenetrable before the 19th century; the word sieben is derived from the word siefen which, in turn comes from the Middle Low German word sîpe "wet depression" or "little stream, brook", the verb sîpen means "trickle, drip". The name Siebengebirge emerged from the word Siedengebirge which indicated the presence of soap boilers, who were banned from the valleys because boiling soap smelled so bad. Information and pictures about the Siebengebirge Rhine Dragon The Seven Mountains: a virtual tour, history and new legends, nature Honnefer Bilderbogen with pictures of the Siebengebirge
North German Plain
The North German Plain or Northern Lowland is one of the major geographical regions of Germany. It is the German part of the North European Plain; the region is bounded by the coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the north and Germany's Central Uplands to the south. In the west, the southern boundary of the North German Plain is formed by the Lower Saxon Hills: the ridge of the Teutoburg Forest, the Wiehen Hills, the Weser Hills and the Lower Saxon Börde, which separate it from that area of the Plain known as the Westphalian Lowland. Elements of the Rhenish Massif act a part of the southern boundary of the plain: the Eifel, Bergisches Land and the Sauerland. In the east the North German Plain spreads out beyond the Harz Mountains and Kyffhäuser further to the south as far as the Central Saxon hill country and the foothills of the Ore Mountains, it is known that the North German Plain was formed during the Pleistocene era as a result of the various glacial advances of terrestrial Scandinavian ice sheets as well as by periglacial geomorphologic processes.
The terrain may be considered as part of the Old or Young Drift, depending on whether or not it was formed by the ice sheets of the last glacial period, the Weichselian Ice Age. The surface relief varies from level to undulating; the lowest points are low moorlands and old marshland on the edge of the ridge of dry land in the west of Schleswig-Holstein and in the north west of Lower Saxony. The highest points may be referred to as Vistula and Hall glaciation terminal moraines – e.g. on the Fläming Heath and the Helpt Hills. Following the ice ages, rain-fed, raised bogs originated in western and northern Lower Saxony during warm periods of high precipitation; these bogs were widespread but much of this terrain has now been drained or otherwise superseded. The coastal areas consist of Holocene lake and river marshes and lagoons connected to Pleistocene Old and Young Drift terrain in various stages of formation and weathering. After or during the retreat of the glaciers, wind-borne sand formed dunes, which were fixed by vegetation.
Human intervention caused the emergence of open heath such as the Lüneburg Heath, measures such as deforestation and the so-called Plaggenhieb caused a wide impoverishment of the soil. The most fertile soils are the Börde areas. High level bog peat can be found in e.g. in the Teufelsmoor. In the loess areas of the lowland are found the oldest settlement locations in Germany; the north eastern part of the plain is geomorphologically distinct and contains a multitude of lakes which are vestiges of the last ice age. The retreating glaciers left this landscape behind around 16,000 to 13,000 years ago. In comparison, the dry plains of northwestern Germany are more weathered and levelled as the last large scale glaciations here occurred at least 130,000 years ago; the region is drained by rivers that flow northwards into the Baltic. The Rhine, Weser and Havel are the most important rivers which drain the North German Lowlands into the North Sea and created woods in their flood plains and folds, e.g. the Spreewald.
Only a small area of the North German Plain falls within the catchment area of the Oder and Neiße rivers which drain into the Baltic. The North Sea coast and the adjacent coastal areas of the facing East and North Frisian Islands are characterised by a maritime climate. South of the coast, a broad band of maritime and sub-maritime climate stretches from the east coast of Schleswig-Holstein to the western edges of the Central Uplands. To the south east and east, the climate becomes subcontinental: characterised by temperature differences between summer and winter which progressively increase away from the tempering effect of the ocean. Locally, a drier continental climate can be found in the rain shadow of the Harz and some smaller areas of upland like the Drawehn and the Fläming. Special microclimates occur in bogs and heathlands and, for example, in the Altes Land near Hamburg, characterised by mild temperatures year round due to the proximity of the North Sea and lower Elbe river, providing excellent conditions for fruit production.
Azonal vegetation complexes of moors, riparian forests and water bodies stretched along the rivers Ems, Elbe and Spree. Distinctive salt marshes and tidal reed beds in the estuaries existed permanently in the tidal zone of the North Sea coast; the natural vegetation of the North German Plain is thought to have been forest formed by the dominant species European Beech. According to Germany's Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the BfN, the North German Plain consists of the natural regions listed below. Where possible, their names have been derived from authoritative English-language source, as indicated by the references. * D01 Mecklenburg Coastal Lowland * D02 Northeast Mecklenburg Lowland * D03 Mecklenburg Lake Plateau Hinterland * D04 Mecklenburg Lake Plateau * D05 North Brandenburg Plateaux and Upland * D06 East Brandenburg Plateau * D07 Oder Valley * D08 Lusatian Basin and Spreew
Upper Rhine Plain
The Upper Rhine Plain, Rhine Rift Valley or Upper Rhine Graben is a major rift, about 350-kilometre-long and on average 50-kilometre-wide, between Basel in the south and the cities of Frankfurt/Wiesbaden in the north. Its southern section straddles the border between Germany, it forms part of the European Cenozoic Rift System. The Upper Rhine Graben formed during the Oligocene as a response to the evolution of the Alps to the south and remains active to the present day. Today, the Rhine Rift Valley forms a downfaulted trough; the Upper Rhine Plain was formed during the Late Eocene epoch. At this time, the Alpine Orogeny, the major mountain building event, to produce the Alps, was in its early stages; the Alps were formed because the continents of Africa collided. It is thought that because the collision was irregular, the initial contact between the two continents resulted in the formation of dilational structures in the foreland basin to the north of the Alps; the result was substantial crustal thinning, forming a major extensional graben and causing isolated volcanic activity.
The stretch factor is estimated to be ~2. To both the east and west of the Rhine Plain, two major hill ranges have formed that run the length of the basin. To the west, in France, these hills are known as the Vosges mountain range and in the east, in Germany, the hills comprise the Black Forest; these ranges exhume the same types including deep crustal gneiss. Both ranges correspond to uplifts of more than 2,500 metres; this uplift has occurred because of the isostatic response associated with the formation of an extensional basin. As a consequence, the highest mountains exist adjacent to the margin of the basin, become low outwards; the boundaries between the hill ranges and the Rhine Graben are defined by major, normal fault zones. The northern section of the Rhine Plain is framed by somewhat lower mountain ranges, the Palatinate Forest on the western and the Odenwald on the eastern side; the extension induced by the formation of the Alps was sufficient to thin the crust and provide suitable dilational conduits for magmatic and volcanic activity to occur.
This resulted in the emplacement of mafic dykes, which follow the general structural trend of the extensional faults. In addition, isolated volcanoes such as the Kaiserstuhl were formed; the Kaiserstuhl is a cluster of volcanic hills to the northwest of Freiburg, within the Rhine Graben. The highest point of this small, isolated volcanic centre is the Totenkopf. Volcanic activity was most prevalent in the Miocene epoch, some 15 million years ago. Today, the Kaiserstuhl volcano is extinct. In 1356, the Basel earthquake occurred in the Rhine Plain, it was the most destructive earthquake in northwest Europe, destroying the city of Basel and flattening buildings as far as 200 km away. It was the most significant historic seismological event to have occurred in Central Europe, its epicenter was between St. Peter in Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald. However, it remains disputed whether the fault that ruptured to cause this earthquake was part of the Rhine Valley extensional system, or one of the many thrust faults that make up the Alps to the south.
Doubts have been raised over the adequacy of the seismic evaluation and design of the Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant, built in the Rhine Plain close to the faults. Located below the plain, the Upper Rhine aquifer - one of the largest in Europe - holds an estimated 450,000 km3 of fresh water and supplies some 3 million people in France and Germany, supplying 75% of their drinking water and 50% of the water used by industry. Since the 1970s it has suffered serious pollution from nitrates, chloride and VOCs. A collaboration of 25 universities and government agencies have been researching seismic hazards and water management of the Quaternary Graben fill; the research focuses on four themes: "Neotectonics and Seismic Hazard" "Modeling of Hydro systems" "Structure and Evolution" "Dynamic Modeling" Ried EUCOR-URGENT Franco-German-Swiss Conference of the Upper Rhine
The Gladenbach Uplands, named after their central town of Gladenbach, is a range of hills up to 609 m high in the Rhine Massif in Germany, on the junction of the Rothaar Mountains, Westerwald and West Hesse Highlands in the east. It lies in Central Hesse within the districts of Marburg-Biedenkopf, Lahn-Dill and Gießen within the so-called Lahn-Dill- loop. Small parts of the Upper Lahn Valley in the northwest belong, together with the town of Bad Laasphe to the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein, North Rhine-Westphalia; the Gladenbach Uplands are geographical unit 320, part of the natural region 32, the Westerwald, in the Germany's system of natural regions. The Gladenbach Highlands is coextensive with the Lahn-Dill Uplands Nature Park which extends further west, but is somewhat less extensive in the southeast and whose boundaries tend to line up with those of the sponsoring municipalities. In addition, not insignificant areas belong to the historical Hessian Hinterland, why the two named articles refer to one another, as far as regional associations and history are concerned.
Geology and mining will be covered in the article on the Lahn-Dill Region On the rivers Lahn and Dill the following towns - clockwise from the north - border the Gladenbach Uplands: Bad Laasphe Biedenkopf Western suburbs of Marburg Lollar Gießen Wetzlar Herborn Dillenburg The northwest transitions to the Rothaar Mountains are comparatively fluid. Here the watershed between the Lahn tributaries of the Banfe and Perf define the boundary; the natural regions mentioned above are divided between the catchment areas of the der Lahn and Dill tributaries and the landscapes separated by these rivers. The most important watercourses, in addition to the boundary rivers of the Lahn and Dietzhölze – are the Aar, the Salzböde, the Perf and Allna; the following rivers and streams are sorted in clockwise order i.e. down the Lahn and up the Dill, beginning with the upper reaches of the Lahn in the north and cover a catchment area of over 20 km²: → to full list The outer boundary of the Gladenbach Uplands is formed by the Lahn and Dill accompanied in the north by the B 62, in the east by the B 3 Marburg-Gießen, in the east, south of the B 49 Gießen-Wetzlar and in the southwest by the A 45.
The Bundesstraße 253 Dillenburg-Biedenkopf closes the remaining gap. The most important reservoir in the Gladenbach Uplands is the Aartalsee in the Niederweidbach Basin, followed by the Perf Reservoir in the Breidenbach Bottom; the hills of the Gladenbach Uplands, arranged by ridge or natural region, include the following: Bottenhorn Plateaux - northwest of the centre Angelburg - west of the centre.