Original paper

Structure-independent landscape elements in southern Franconian scarplands

Kleber, Arno


A major gap in the stratigraphic record of underlying rocks of a cuesta landform in southern Franconia causes local absence of resistant cap rock. As a consequence the scarp is atypical, capped by less resistant, mainly pelitic rock. Its dip slope is identified as a planation surface, as it disconformably cuts underlying rock structures. These findings indicate that cuesta landscapes may contain prominent sculptural elements.The formation of the planation surface started during or after the Oligocene at least in the southern part of the study area, but may have started earlier farther north. Evidence of processes acting on this surface is derived from coarse, partially ventifacted gravel, which allow reconstructing two individual river courses. These presumably formed under dry climate. The surface was dissected some 10 Ma after its onset, in Late Miocene times, by deeply cut valleys fostering lacustrine deposits.


scarplandscuestaplanation surfacedenudationtertiarypaleoclimate