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Potential of a high-resolution DTM with large spatial coverage for visualization, identification and interpretation of young (Würmian) glacial geomorphology

a case study from Oberschwaben (southern Germany)

by Elena Beckenbach, Thomas Müller, Hartmut Seyfried, Theo Simon

Published in: E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 63 (2): 107–129.  DOI: 10.3285/eg.63.2.01


The following image descriptions are only excerpts. For a detailed description we refer to the article.
Click on an image to see the full resolution version.

Figure 1

Z-code coloured shaded relief of the study area. Geographic information and outlines of prominent glaciogenic features are compiled in complementary
Fig. 2. White rectanlges: positions of case studies areas. Black area: Lake Constance. Inset lower left: position in Germany and in Baden-Württemberg.

Figure 2

Shaded relief of same scene as in Fig. 1 with geographic information and outlines or locations of prominent glaciogenic features. Inset lower left: position within Baden-Württemberg. Light blue: Lake Constance. Numbering follows palaeogeographic belts from distal to proximal (North to South) and internally from West to East.

Figure 3

South-western part of the Danubian meander plain upstream of Riedlingen (for position, see # 1 in Fig. 2). During initial ice retreat valley filling was dominated through braided outwash (1) from the Andelsbach (2), Ostrach (3), Wagenhauser Bach (4) and Schwarzach (5) valleys which today are only occupied by small rivulets. After ice retreat behind the drainage divide Danube/Rhine the Danube started to rework the northern part of the alluvium through randomly migrating point bars (6).

Figure 4

Ice wastage deposits produced between the outer and the inner Würmian end moraine during glacial retreat of the Schussen lobe of the Rhine glacier (areas 6, 7, 8 in Fig. 2). Description and numbering is from North to South and West to East.

Figure 5

Detailed preservation of glaciogenic features in the area of the northernmost arc of the Schussen lobe of the Rhine glacier. Position corresponds to the north-eastern quadrant of Fig. 4. Colour scale has been adapted to highlight (in red colours) the large and complex flat area of the drainage divide between Danube (via the Riß river) und Rhine (via the Schussen river).

Figure 6

Esker relics preserved in the Altshausen plain. Eskers range in height from 1 m (1) to 5 m (2) and are up to 800 m long. Dashed white lines: fragmentary recessional moraines inside the outer Würmian end moraine.

Figure 7

Micromoraines (circled areas) on the forest-covered northern slope of the Föhrenried basin; the region corresponds to the south-central part of Fig. 4. The brown-coloured surfaces display a dense (roughly hundred-metre-spaced) succession of micromoraines with heights between 1 and 2 m and lenghts in the order of 100 m interpreted to reflect valley glacier retreat upon the slightly inclined upper ramp of the Föhrenried basin.

Figure 8

Complex landforms at the Binzen bifurcation (BiBi) of the outer Würmian end moraine. Black lines: Danubian rivers; white lines: Rhenish rivers. Black patches: lakes. Lettering from North to South and West to East: BWa: Bad Waldsee, BWu: Bad Wurzach, LEU: Leutkirch, WOL: Wolfegg, KIS: Kißlegg.

Figure 9

Drumlins in the Lake Constance (black) area. Black line: lower Schussen river; white dotted line: inner Würmian end moraine (IWEM); white dashed line: “Konstanzer Stadium” line (KS); thin white lines: fragmentary moraines inside the KS line.

Figure 10

Post-glacial recessional terraces in the Argen valley; for the regional context, compare Figs. 1 and 2. The Argen incised into a terrain of high-relief
drumlins (shown as a gradient map). Drumlins are interspersed with peat swamps or small lakes; basal till base level surrounding the drumlins dips from
540 m in the East to 470 m in the West.

Digital Terrain Model

The LiDAR-based digital terrain model (DTM) of Baden-Württemberg (“Geobasisdatenmodell”, provided by Landesamt für Geoinformation und Landentwicklung (LGL, Stuttgart) has a resolution of 1 m in horizontal and 0.15 m in vertical direction covering 36000 km². This model is ideally suited for systematic geomorphological analyses as it is extremely accurate and allows reliable large-distance correlation of geological and geomorphological phenomena.


Elena Beckenbach
Institut für Planetologie, Universität Stuttgart, Herdweg 51, 70174 Stuttgart

Thomas Müller
Visualisierungsinstitut der Universität Stuttgart, Allmandring 19, 70569 Stuttgart

Hartmut Seyfried
Institut für Planetologie, Universität Stuttgart, Herdweg 51, 70174 Stuttgart

Theo Simon
Gehrenshalde 42, 74427 Fichtenberg