The Kocher Valley

Lang de

River Kocher, a tributary of River Neckar has deeply incised into the Triassic rocks of the Southwest-German cuesta landscape – at Ingelfingen up to 200 meters. The morphology of the valley reflects the change of the subsequent rocks. The wide valley floodplain has been deepened into the easily erodible claystones of the Upper Buntsandstein, the Rötton Formation. The lower part of the slopes is shaped by the hard and resistant Lower Muschelkalk limestones formig steep flanks and locally even cliffs, the upsection evaporites of the readily soluble Middle Muschelkalk rock salt and gypsum produce a flat shoulder, and then again steeper slopes in the hard Upper Muschelkalk limestones. This sequence is overlain by Lower Keuper marls and sandstones of the Hohenlohe Plains. The thickly bedded Upper Muschelkalk limestones have been picked up by wine farmers through centuries and piled up to so called ‘Steinriegel’, which were said to improve the microclimate in the vineyards. The gravels in the valley floodplain are covered by sandy clays which were deposited since the High Middle Ages when the woodland in the nearby Keuper hills was cleared and denudation increased. On display is a peel of the gravel and clay layers of these geologically youngest sediments completed by subfossil gastropod and bivalves that inhabited River Kocher. The Mammoth tusk was recovered in a loess pit of the Hohenlohe Plains.

Cröffelbacher Klinge near Braunsbach after the devastating flash flood of 29 May 2016. Panorama Magnus Hagdorn