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Medieval pinge with a dump of a shaft on Ochsenhügel near Suhl / Thuringian Forest
Pinge of an iron ore mine in the Oberhagen nature reserve

A pinge (or binge ) is a wedge, trench, or funnel-shaped depression created by mining activities . These depressions are often created by the collapse of old underground pits that were operated at a shallow depth . In contrast to natural landforms, a pinge is an artificial structure.

Word origination

In the original sense of the word, the mining terms "pinge" or "binge" go back to the activity of "pinging", which is comparable to "digging up". A "aufgepingter" lode was grazed near the surface transition deposit . The Pinge was therefore a blight , an open pit-like , primitive mine. According to Adelung and Duden, the word comes from the Middle High German word Binge for deepening, digging and is related to Swedish Bunke (bump, heap) or binge for grain, flour box. Gätzschmann directs Binge from the stage and states that it is related to the Swiss stage .

Place names with -bing [en] as a component accordingly point to funnel-shaped or kettle-shaped depressions.

This term was then carried over to the funnel-shaped depressions that were created at the base of offset or broken shafts . Since the underway mining shafts and trial pits strike the Ganges were created following these mines left by the typical Pingenzüge as the medieval mining, for example, in the Thuringian Forest in the Upper Harz , the Erzgebirge and in Eschweiler space have been preserved in many places.

Later the term was used for many Pinge going back to mining activities hollows in the terrain: opencast mining holes (superficial removal) or Day Breaks in underground mining equipment. The latter arose either as an undesirable consequence of break-ins in active mining (often associated with accidents or catastrophes) or through old mining . Some of them were accepted approvingly and deliberately when they were dismantled using quarries .

A ping train consists of several pinges in a row.


Pings are created through excavations on the surface or through the exploitation of deposits at shallow depths with subsequent collapse of the overburden. Day breaks occur when the overburden collapses or collapses . As a result of day breaks, pinging occurs. The oldest pings that were created by excavation for actinolite hornblende slate are found in Jistebsko in Bohemia, the pings that were created usually date from the 16th and 17th centuries and are mostly only 0.5–1 meters deep. The deeper pings that were created by the collapse of the overburden date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Due to the lowered surface of the pinge, it is usually surrounded by an annular heap. Some pings are trenches up to 250 meters long and 15 meters wide.


Creation of a pinge through coal digging

The mining of ores or coal initially took place close to the surface at the outcrop of the deposits. In seam-like deposits, this was done by means of well-like holes, so-called pütts , which the miners dug in the seam with a pick and shovel. As soon as these holes reached the water table, the ground water ran into these digs. If the water could not be drawn from the pit quickly enough due to the large amount of water, the holes overflowed from the incoming groundwater. To make matters worse, the softening of the soil and the flow of water reduced the stability of the side walls. For this reason, the hollow was simply abandoned in such cases and a new pit was dug some distance away. Over the years these pings grew too. In the southern Ruhr area there are a large number of such pings that were excavated. Funnel-shaped hollows, the pings, formed through erosion and falls. In the case of pings, which were excavated, small ring-shaped heaps of piles were formed around the pings by the deposition of the then unusable fine coal and the deaf rock.

Another variant of the Pingenentstehung is applied in lignite mining Kuhlenbau . Here, the lignite is mined by means of small shafts and the soil is poured into the charred hollow for the next hollow. In this way, several hollows or pings are created in a row.


These pings are caused by near-surface and unsecured exploitation of a deposit. If a deposit is exploited underground, it comes to compression and strain in the hanging wall . Over time, the hanging wall slips along the demolition line into the excavated cavity. Pinging is subsidence in a narrow area. But just as with large-scale subsidence, which occurs continuously through large-scale mining at great depths, in near-surface mining the overburden collapses at regular intervals along the demolition line. This subsidence of the layers is usually accompanied by audible mountain beating . The shape of the pinge is essentially determined by different rock formations. Also, the shape and appearance of the pings are influenced by their age. A pinge that is only flat and only slightly troughed over its entire surface is usually older than a pinge with sharp contours.

How quickly a near-surface cavity collapses depends on various factors. Decisive criteria are the depth and the stability of the overburden. The depth of the ping is essentially determined by the size of the cavity created. If larger cavities are created at a shallower depth, as in the case of the Tummelbau , the pings can be several meters deep. This mountain damage is particularly problematic if it occurs in inhabited areas. Cave-in pinges can be distinguished from excavation pinging by the lack of spoil heaps.


A shaft penguin is created by the collapse of old day shafts . In the early days of mining, in particular, many smaller day shafts were sunk. The shafts were mostly with wood expanded . Only in rare cases was natural stone, brick or concrete used for the shaft extension. When these shafts were then abandoned, the timber construction rotted over the years. The rotten expansion then gave way and the shaft collapsed, creating a shaft penguin. The diameter and depth of the respective shaft pegs depend on the size of the shafts and on whether the shafts were filled and the quality of the filling. Another variant of the creation of a Schachtpinge is the Duckelbau . In the case of Duckelbau, the overburden in the area of ​​the Duck usually collapses very quickly, as this type of mining involves digging only a few meters below the surface in mostly unstable rock.


Stollenpinge with heap, 16. – 17. Century, view from above

A tunnel penguin is created by the collapse of the parts of a tunnel that are usually in surface layers or weathered rock . In general, they are easily recognizable due to their typical asymmetrical shape, their deepening, which is usually stronger uphill than mining pings, and the more or less pronounced heap in front of them.

Known pings (selection)

The pings listed below were created by the collapse of the overburden.

View of the Pinge in Altenberg
Altenberg (Germany)

The first fractures occurred as early as 1545 due to uncontrolled erosion of the Altenberg tin ore hybrid as a result of fire . Then the ore was extracted from both the bedrock and the broken mass. By continuing the unchecked setting of fire in the bedrock, large expansions were again built that could not withstand the pressure of the overburden. In 1578, 1583, 1587 and 1619 there were further breaks, although it is not clear whether these were caused intentionally. The most extensive Pingen breach occurred on January 24, 1620. This created a collapse funnel of 2 hectares on the surface , which destroyed 36 pits. In the centuries that followed, mining was continued through the extraction of fractured masses "from below" until 1991. In the process, further, initially uncontrolled, but later planned subsequent breaks occurred. Thus the Altenberger Pinge expanded to 12 hectares, 150 m deep and 450 m in diameter until the tin ore mining stopped. Today the Great Pinge ( 50 ° 45 ′ 56 ″  N , 13 ° 45 ′ 50 ″  E ) is not only one of Altenberg's attractions, it was also recognized in May 2006 by the Hanover Academy of Geosciences as one of the 77 most important national geotopes in Germany rated.

Falun (Sweden)
The uncontrolled copper mining in the Falun mine led to the large-scale breakdown of the mine workings in 1687. The resulting Pinge Stora Stöten is now 95 m deep and 350 m wide.
Panorama of the mine workings in Falun
Geyersche binge
Geyer (Germany)
The Geyersche Binge ( 50 ° 37 ′ 16 ″  N , 12 ° 55 ′ 41.8 ″  E ) was the result of intensive overexploitation in the pits under the Geyersberg. As a result of the resulting fire setting, up to 35 m high and up to 40 m wide at the bottom dilatations it came in 1704 to a first major day break , which was followed to 1803 more. The last fatal break occurred on May 11, 1803. It led to the cessation of civil engineering . From 1851 a quarry company gained the broken masses of the Binge. After its discontinuation in 1935, the binge was placed under nature protection. Today it is 50–60 m deep and covers an area of ​​around 200 × 250 m.
Plattenberg (Czech Republic)

The wolf and ice penguins were created through tin mining. In the Eispinge, damp, cold air sinks to the ground, which means that cave ice and snow remain there all year round. In 1813 snow and ice from the Eispinge were used to care for the wounded in the Battle of Leipzig .

Seiffen (Germany)
In Seiffen / Erzgeb. There are two adjacent collapse funnels from the tin mining industry up to 34 m deep, called Geyerin and Neuglücker Stockwerkspinge , near the church . They were probably created in the 16th century by setting fire. As in Altenberg , mining continued in Seiffen after the Pingen fall. However, in contrast to the Altenberger Pinge, the broken masses were conveyed in the open pit by means of a conveyor bridge . The mining stopped in the 19th century. An open-air stage has been located in Pinge Geyerin since 1934. ( 50 ° 38 ′ 46.6 ″  N , 13 ° 27 ′ 14 ″  E ) .

Individual evidence

  1. Joachim Huske: The coal mine in the Ruhr area . 3rd edition, self-published by the German Mining Museum, Bochum, 2006, ISBN 3-937203-24-9 .
  2. ^ Walter Bischoff , Heinz Bramann, Westfälische Berggewerkschaftskasse Bochum , In: Das kleine Bergbaulexikon . 7th edition, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen 1988, ISBN 3-7739-0501-7 .
  3. Christoph Traugott Delius: Instructions for the art of mining. First volume, second edition, KK Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, Vienna 1806.
  4. ^ Wilhelm Hermann, Gertrude Hermann: The old collieries on the Ruhr (series: The Blue Books ). Verlag Langewiesche Nachhaben, Königstein im Taunus, 6th, expanded and updated edition. 2008, ISBN 978-3-7845-6994-9 , pp. 14 and 324.
  5. Binge - spelling, meaning, definition, origin. In: Retrieved August 22, 2016 .
  6. Adelung - The Pinge. In: Retrieved August 22, 2016 .
  7. pinge. In: Dictionary Network - German Dictionary by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm., accessed on August 22, 2016 .
  8. ^ Günter Neumann: Name studies on Old Germanic . Ed .: Heinrich Hettrich, Astrid van Nahl. de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-021044-6 , The place name Bingen, p. 84 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  9. ^ Giershagener mining traces: Pingenzug. (accessed January 6, 2012).
  10. a b c d e f Till Kasielke: Bochum-Sundern, traces of the early coal mining on Baaker Berg. Excursion report. In: Bochumer Botanischer Verein e. V. Yearbook of the Bochum Botanical Association. Volume 8, Bochum 2016, ISSN 2190-3972, pp. 133-139.
  11. Aid 062018 p. 31ff
  12. Pinge (last accessed on June 10, 2016).
  13. ^ A b Reinhard Koehne: Historical ore mining in the Sauerland: pits and trenches on the roof of Westphalia. Online (accessed January 6, 2012; PDF; 9.0 MB).
  14. a b c Joachim Huske: The hard coal mining in the Ruhr area from its beginnings to the year 2000 . 2nd edition, Regio-Verlag Peter Voß, Werne, 2001, ISBN 3-929158-12-4 .
  15. Till Kasielke: Geology and relief development in the Bochum area. In: Bochumer Botanischer Verein e. V. Yearbook of the Bochum Botanical Association. Volume 7 (3), Bochum 2015, ISSN 2190-3972, p. 34.
  16. ^ Heinrich von Dechen: Description of the Kuhlen- and Tummel construction in the Brühl brown coal mining area . In: CJB Carsten (Hrsg.): Archives for Mineralogy, Geognosy, Mining and Metallurgy . tape 3 . Verlag G. Reimer, 1831, ISSN  0931-850X , p. 413-536 ( full text in Google Book Search).
  17. Plettenberg Lexicon: Heinrich Streich: From early ore mining in the Märkisches Sauerland (last accessed on June 10, 2016).
  18. J. Meier: Statistical analysis of day breaks over mining fields of the brown coal civil engineering and an attempt of their numerical simulation with the program FLAC Online (accessed on January 6, 2012; PDF; 288 kB).
  19. a b J. Meier, G. Meier: sinkholes and day breaks - possibilities of numerical modeling online (accessed on January 6, 2012; PDF; 1.4 MB).
  20. ^ Heinrich Achenbach: The mountain police regulations of the Rhenish main mountain district. Royal Court Book and Art Bookshop FC Eisen, Cologne 1859.
  21. a b Bergstadt Schneeberg: Die Schachtpinge ( Memento from April 2, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed on January 6, 2012).
  22. Günter Meier: To determine areas of action caused by old mining. Online (accessed January 6, 2012; PDF; 549 kB).
  23. The early mining of the Ruhr: Origin of Pingen (accessed on January 6, 2012)
  24. ^ Geo Museum, Clausthal University of Technology. Duckelbau (accessed January 6, 2012).
  25. Schematic representation of Stollenpinge (last accessed on June 10, 2016).
  26. ^ The burglar funnel "Altenberger Pinge" (last accessed on February 23, 2020).
  27. Falun. In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon Volume 6. 1888, p. 23 , accessed on September 24, 2015 .
  28. Otfried Wagenbreth: Pit cracks and geological maps as tools for mining archeology Online , In: Reports of the Federal Geological Institute , Volume 35, Vienna 1996, ISSN  1017-8880 (PDF 300kB) (last accessed on June 10, 2016).
  29. Seiffen (last accessed on June 10, 2016).

See also

Web links

Commons : Pinging  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Pinge  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations