Zechstein is a lithostratigraphic group of Dyas in northern central Europe. The Dyas ( the Split- after subdivision in Rotliegend and Zechstein ) was coined in Central Europe name for the Permian, the internationally but could not prevail. Previously the term Zechstein (as well as the Rotliegend ) was also considered as unit of time and correlated with the Upper Permian. This has proven to be incorrect, because the Lying - border Rotliegend / Zechstein is diachronically and ranges clearly into the Permian. The hangend limit Zechstein / sandstone is before the international Permian-Triassic boundary. The Zechstein is therefore now interpreted in the literature only as a rock unit ( = unit of lithostratigraphy ), not more than the time interval of Earth's history. The center of the Zechsteinbeckens was in Northern and Central Germany and in Poland. The Zechstein follows the rock unit of the Permian and is overlain by the lithostratigraphic group of red sandstone.

History and naming

Zechstein is both a miners' term, the " tough stone " means - on the other hand remembers this word to the " Zechstein " on which the mines ( mine building) were for the reduction of copper slate.


The Zechstein in lithostratigraphic sense begins with the deposition of the Kupferschiefer. The light coming from the north Zechstein left in his large-scale advances in today's Central European regions up to seven cycles with erosiv-sedimentären/marin-euxinischen sediments (Werra, Staßfurt, leash, Aller, ear, Friesland and Fulda). In the literature, an eighth cycle is still occasionally discussed, but the date has not been proven safe. According to the morphology of the area and the distance to the pelvic center, not all cycles are formed, for example, in the information fields on the South Harz. The Zechstein is now correlated mainly with the international chronostratigraphic stages of Wuchiapingium and Changhsingium, summarized the series of Lopingium (or Upper Permian ). The Zechstein but still stops short of the Permian - Triassic boundary in Changhsingium. The beginning is diachronic, and therefore the Rotliegend sedimentation could extend even as far as the Wuchiapingium. In absolute terms, the Zechstein began about 257.3 million years ago and ended about 251 million years ago.


The Zechstein Group is divided in the pelvic center in northern Germany in seven formations that correspond to the seven cycles ( in stratigraphic sequence ):

  • Fulda Formation ( ZfU )
  • Friesland Formation ( ECR )
  • Ear formation ( zO )
  • Aller- formation ( zA )
  • Tether formation ( zL )
  • Staßfurt Formation ( zS )
  • Werra Formation ( zW )

At the water's edge on the eastern edge of the Rhenish Slate Mountains:

  • Frankenberg- formation ( ZFB )
  • Geismar Formation ( ZGS )
  • Site Mountain Formation ( DSB )
  • Battenberg Formation ( rzBt )

In the northern Palatinate, also the water's edge, is deposited:

  • Stauf - formation ( ZST)

In the Upper Palatinate:

  • Lindau Formation ( ZLI )

At the edge of the pool in Baden-Württemberg, the Zechstein Group is subdivided into four formations:

  • Langenthal Formation ( zla )
  • Zechsteindolomit Formation ( zD )

The Kirnbach lineup dovetails with the Zechsteindolomit lineup and Tiegersandstein lineup, the latter dovetails with the Langenthal lineup.

Economic Importance

The Kupferschiefer was due to its regionally increased incidence ferrous metal guide from the Middle Ages large as silver and copper supplier to the end of the twentieth century economic importance.

The second important natural resource, which was formed in the Zechsteinepoche, are still standing strong in mining coal and potash.

The third major Bodenschatz the mighty anhydrite or from them emerged due to water absorption gypsum are used intensively for centuries. Especially in the southern Harz Zechsteingürtel characterize gypsum open pit mines in many places today the landscape. This leads to considerable controversy between the associations of gypsum industry and conservation efforts.