EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The shape and infill of the Basadingen overdeepened glacial valley from P-wave seismic reflections

Anna-Catharina Brandt1, David C. Tanner2, Hermann Buness2, Thomas Burschil2, and Gerald Gabriel1,2
Anna-Catharina Brandt et al.
  • 1Leibniz University Hannover, Institute for Geology, Germany
  • 2Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics, Hannover, Germany

Overdeepened valleys in the Alps allow to probe the glacial sedimentation record, which in turn can illuminate the climatic history. In particular, seismic reflections can be used to extend punctual borehole data (for instance a number of boreholes are to be drilled into Alpine glacial overdeepened valleys as part of the DOVE ICDP project) in the second dimension or even survey a region before drilling begins. Thus, we use detailed, 2-D seismic P-wave profiles to reveal the shape and infill of an overdeepened Rhine glacier valley in the area of Basadingen, near to the German/Swiss border. We acquired two profiles nearly perpendicular to the valley strike, approximately 500 m apart. The first profile was 1246 m long, and consisted of a single spread of 624 geophones. The second profile was 1120 m long and was acquired using 200 3-component geophones using a roll-along method. For both profiles we used a vibro-source with a 12 s linear sweep of 20-240 Hz at every second geophone (two metre spacing), which produced a high fold.

Both seismic images reveal that the overdeepened basin at this location is asymmetrical and circa 260 m deep, although the deepest part (220 m wide) covers only a small portion of the broader main valley. The infill is characterised by at least three unconformities and distinct onlap and erosive boundaries between the sedimentary units. We interpret the infill to represent a highly dynamic sedimentary system. The lower part, within the deepest part of the basin is filled with chaotic sediments and slumping. Above a major unconformity, the upper part contains strongly-dipping reflectors that probably represent a prograding point-bar in a glacio-fluviatile environment that migrated toward the north-east. Beneath the deepest part of the basin we see evidence for faults in the Tertiary Molasse basement, which correlate with known faults at the surface. The faults most likely caused the valley to be sited at this location and they were probably also the cause of the ‘valley in valley’ shape.

A new DOVE research borehole will be drilled in the centre of the valley in 2021. This will bring more light on the sedimentary history and OSL-dating of the material will bracket the timing of the infill.

How to cite: Brandt, A.-C., Tanner, D. C., Buness, H., Burschil, T., and Gabriel, G.: The shape and infill of the Basadingen overdeepened glacial valley from P-wave seismic reflections, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5996,, 2021.


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