Erdgeschichte, Geologie und Paläontologie

Altmühltal bei Beilngries bei Hochwasser
Altmühltal bei Beilngries bei Hochwasser. Wie heute ein Altmühlhochwasser füllte einst die Urdonau das gesamte Tal aus.

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Topographical history: Ancient Danube / Sulz

Digital terrain model (DTM) Beilngries


Anyone visiting Beilngries today realizes that it is in a valley and actually not just in one. There is the Altmühl valley, the Sulz valley, which comes from the north and then the nowadays the not so dry Ottmaringer valley. From the bottom of the valley to the Alb plateau there is a difference of 100 meters. It was the ancient Danube, which created this landscape in the last 2-3 million years, the river Sulz had to go along. The water of the ice age, which could sometimes be enormous, have milled into the Jurassic panel. Again and again sand and loess were blown in and on the slopes, chalky debris and clay eroded from the plateau. This is how it the present-day Jurassic landscape developed, which has now been cultivated and redesigned by humans to a considerable level.

Old quarry at Hirschberg
Aerial view of the quarry at Wiesenhofen

Fossils: Ammonites

Ammonites are the most well-known fossils from the Jurassic period.

Plate with ammonites (Orthosphincten sp.) lower Malm gamma Wiesenhofen (matrix 35 - 45 cm)
Belemnit or "Thunderbolt" 16 cm, hard component of an octopus from the Malm gamma Wiesenhofen



Pebble plate with fish

Cretaceous Period

Alb plateau at Grampersdorf

"Calcrete" - with limonite, an iron ore, bound quartz sand


Alb plateau at Wiesenhofen

Samples of iron ore (limonite)

Quaternary - Ice Age

  • Photos of the Altmühl valley, upstream of Beilngries at flood. Like an Altmühl flood today, the ancient Danube once filled the entire valley.

Altmühl valley upstream of Beilngries at flood.
Samples of alpine quartz pebbles from the ancient Danube from a terrace northwest of Paulushofen
  • Finds from the excavation of the Main-Danube Canal

  • Evidence of the wildlife during the Ice Age

Mammoth tusk from the Sulz valley
Mammoth tusk from the Sulz valley
Cave bear, upper arm, Ottmaring valley