Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rhine Falls.

Glaciation and warm interglacial periods of the past 500'000 years have shaped the landscape from the high rising Alps down to the northern lowlands of Switzerland. In the area of Schaffhausen the river Rhine has changed its course several times eroding Jurassic limestone and filling channels with gravel and sand. At the location of the famous Rhine waterfall the present-day river bed consists at the upper side of hard Jurassic (150 million years old) limestones which terminate in a cliff bordering gravel beds of an abandoned river channel formed by the ancient Rhine during Riss age (about 120'000 years old). The waterfall developped about 15'000 years ago, after the new Rhine started to erode the soft Riss-age gravel and sands.
Literature:
Albert Heim, 1931, Geologie des Rheinfalls.
Der Rheinfall, Neujahrsblatt der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft Schaffhausen, Nr. 39, 1987.
http://www.knill.com/Rheinfall/Wissen/Geologie.html
http://www.rua.ch/rhein/Region03Destination01Entstehung.htm



The Rhine Falls are the largest waterfalls in Europe.
Latitude: 47.677871
Longitude: 8.614482
Google
Panoramio
Photo Stadtarchiv Schaffhausen