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St. Wendel region, Saarland: traces of old volcanic activity, impressions Aug 2020

The northeastern Germany's Saarland and adjacient parts of Rheinland-Pfalz are saw very intense volcanic activity in the Permian period, approx. 280 million years ago. Both large-scale magmatic intrusions as well as important volcanic activity on the surface of the back-then desert-like landscapes created important plutonic (intrusive) bodies (such as granites, diorites etc) as well as a vast plateau of lava flows and pyroclastic rocks that covered older sediments (mainly sand- and mudstones).
Today, this layer of magmatic rocks forms a beautiful plateau of small mountains and hills reaching approx. 4-600 m elevation and carved by carved by gentle valleys such as the Nahe valley. The exposed and eroded volcanic and plutonic rocks are rich in a variety of minerals, in particular quartz and agate. Exploration and treatment of these minerals gave rise to an important mineral-cutting industry that flourished for centuries especially in the area around Idar-Oberstein, which became (and in parts still is) a hot-spot for mineral treatment and trade.
During a visit in Aug 2020, Tobias and Tom explored some of the hidden volcanic treasures of the northern Saarland (St. Wendel region).
View to the landscape with Permian sediments around Friesen and St. Wendel. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
View to the landscape with Permian sediments around Friesen and St. Wendel. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(23 Hits)
The so called andesit rose at the "agate hiking path" near Freisen. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
The so called andesit rose at the "agate hiking path" near Freisen. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(27 Hits)
The end of a lava flow or an lava dome like on Palia Kameni/Sasntorini in Greece? (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
The end of a lava flow or an lava dome like on Palia Kameni/Sasntorini in Greece? (Photo: Tobias Sch... [info]
(30 Hits)
The famous agate quarry Hellerberg near Freisen. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
The famous agate quarry Hellerberg near Freisen. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(24 Hits)
The industrial complex at Kusel volcanic quarry (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
The industrial complex at Kusel volcanic quarry (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(17 Hits)
View from Hellerberg quarry on the landscape with Permian rocks at St. Wendel. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
View from Hellerberg quarry on the landscape with Permian rocks at St. Wendel. (Photo: Tobias Schorr... [info]
(18 Hits)
Rare butterfly "Russian baer". (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
Rare butterfly "Russian baer". (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(20 Hits)
Table about the volcano of Weiselberg. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
Table about the volcano of Weiselberg. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(17 Hits)
Tom Pfeiffer at an industrial wind energy plant on Hellerberg moutain. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
Tom Pfeiffer at an industrial wind energy plant on Hellerberg moutain. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(15 Hits)
Tom Pfeiffer on the grounded kuselite rocks. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
Tom Pfeiffer on the grounded kuselite rocks. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(18 Hits)
Basaltic columns at Weiselberg. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
Basaltic columns at Weiselberg. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(14 Hits)
The former filling of an basaltic vent that created basalt columns. Weiselberg/Germany. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
The former filling of an basaltic vent that created basalt columns. Weiselberg/Germany. (Photo: Tobi... [info]
(19 Hits)
A sample of the local vent filling basalt. Weiselberg/Germany. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
A sample of the local vent filling basalt. Weiselberg/Germany. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(14 Hits)
The basaltic columns of the Weiselberg volcanic vent. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
The basaltic columns of the Weiselberg volcanic vent. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(17 Hits)
Tom Pfeiffer at the basalt columns of Weiselberg. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
Tom Pfeiffer at the basalt columns of Weiselberg. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(28 Hits)
Tom Pfeiffer climbing on the basalt columns of Weiselberg. (Photo: Tobias Schorr)
Tom Pfeiffer climbing on the basalt columns of Weiselberg. (Photo: Tobias Schorr) [info]
(15 Hits)
 

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