since 2007

life & Environments of the continental berriasian (Lower Cretaceous) in northern Germany

An holistic approach to investigate the biota and environments of the continental deposits from the Berriasian Bückeberg Group of northern Germany. These sediments contain a rich record of fossils and fossil tracks from a limnic and terrestrial environment flourishing along the shores of a vast inland lake

Dinosaur tracks are among the most spectacular fossils from the Bückeberg Group. Natural sandstone cast of an iguanodontian footprint from Bücke-burg, Lower Saxony, Ballerstedt Collec-tion, Geoscience Center, University of Göttingen. Length ca. 45 cm.

The Bückeberg Group consists largely of siliciclastics deposited during the Berriasian through earliest Valanginian times in the Lower Saxony Basin. The sediments represent the infill of a lacustrine basin with temporary connections to the open sea causing episodical influx of saline waters. Along the margins of the basin, river systems formed locally extensive delta systems and redeposition of coarse-grained sediments led to the build-up of coast-parallel barrier systems (Pelzer 1998, Hornung et al. 2012). The limnic succession finally ceased with the Valanginian marine inundation of the basin.

Historically the Bückeberg Group is known as 'German Wealden' since the similarity of the strata and fossils to the English Wealden (late Berriasian to Aptian) was noted by geoscientists since the early 19th century. However, this term is used only informally as detailed studies of facies, stratigraphy, fauna and flora, and palaeogeography supported many differences between the units.

These environments were inhabited by a broad diversity of vertebrates, including fish, sauropterygians, turtles, crocodiles and dinosaurs. Although known since the first half of the 19th century these fossils have only been studied sporadically and, aside of a few spectacular specimens, most of the material remained neglected in the scientific literature.

This project is focused upon a synoptic view of the biota and environments from the Bückberg Group including both body-fossil and ichnofossil record, as well as sedimentology and facies analysis.



Hornung, J.J., Böhme, A., van der Lubbe, T., Reich, M. & Richter, A. (2012): Vertebrate tracksites in the Obernkirchen Sandstone (Bückeberg Formation, late Berriasian, Early Cretaceous) of northwest Germany – their stratigraphical, palaeogeographical, palaeoecological, and historical context. Paläontologische Zeitschrift, 86(3): 231-268.


Pelzer, G. (1998): Sedimentologie und Palynologie der Wealden-Fazies im Hannoverschen Bergland. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, 207: 1-211.

Comprehensive reference list on ResearchGate >>>