Overview map Vogelsberg
|Highest peak||Taufstein ( )|
|location||Vogelsbergkreis , Main-Kinzig-Kreis , Wetteraukreis , District of Giessen , District of Fulda ; Hesse|
|part of||East Hessian mountainous region|
|Type||Low mountain range , extinct volcano|
|particularities||The mountain range is the formation of a multitude of volcanic basalt layers|
The Vogelsberg is a low mountain range in Hesse and reaches a height of on the Taufstein . It is part of Osthessischen mountain country and the largest closed solid from basalt in Europe . The nature park Hoher Vogelsberg occupies large parts of its high elevations . The Rhine-Weser watershed also runs over the Vogelsberg .
The Vogelsberg is located in the Vogelsbergkreis around 60 km northeast of Frankfurt between Alsfeld , Fulda , Büdingen and Nidda . In the east to the north the Knüll joins at some distance , in the east the Rhön , in the south-east the Spessart and in the south-west the low-lying Wetterau , which merges in the same direction into the south Hessian lowlands of the Rhine-Main area . In contrast, the Vogelsberg merges in a north-westerly direction into parts of the West Hessian mountainous region , which still have the Vogelsberg in their name and which carry the basalt rocks of their namesake well beyond the actual Vogelsberg.
With 2500 km² the Vogelsberg is the largest contiguous volcanic area in Central Europe . It is not a former shield volcano , but consists of many individual volcanoes that overlap. It is therefore composed of a large number of layered basalt ceilings, which lead down from the Oberwald , the central plateau area, 600 to high, in a ring-shaped and step-like manner to its edges. Today's shape, reminiscent of a large, flat shield-shaped volcano with a central elevation, is the result of an interplay of uplift processes and erosion on all sides .
The volcanic activity in the Vogelsberg, like that of the northern Hessian volcanic area, which extends to Adelebsen in Lower Saxony , is connected to the fracture tectonics that led to the formation of the Lower Hessian Depression in the Tertiary . It began in northern Hesse about 20 million years ago in the Lower Miocene , had a maximum about 13-12 million years ago and went out about 7 million years ago in the Upper Miocene. The volcanism of the Vogelsberg was mainly active in the Middle Miocene, according to potassium-argon dating 18.5–10 million years ago, with a maximum of 17–15 million years ago.
Recent studies have shown that volcanic activity already existed in the Upper Cretaceous in the area of the Vogelsberg , although the corresponding volcanic structures have been completely removed in the meantime. In the Ranstadt area , however, volcanic rocks were found in boreholes that were radiometrically dated to a corresponding age.
Basaltic lava flows and pyroclastic deposits were mainly formed by volcanism . In the sequence of volcanic products, trachytes and phonolites were extracted at the beginning , then alkali olivine basalts were deposited, which alternated with tholeiites . The volcanic extraction products are superimposed on a foundation of red sandstone and tertiary sands, and in small areas in the east also rocks from shell limestone and Keuper .
The erosion after the Miocene has broken up the coherent basalt coverings, which originally extended into the Lower Main area , into isolated deposits down to the central complex. Under tropical to subtropical conditions, the volcanic rocks were laterit ical weathering in red clays converted. In some places there was an accumulation of red clay and the formation of bauxite as well as the concentration of the iron contained in basalts to form iron ores . These deposits were mined for a long time to extract raw materials, and basalt was and is a nationally sought-after raw material for the extraction of gravel and natural stone .
The division of the Vogelsberg into individual natural spaces follows on the one hand the relief of the mountains from the center of gravity outwards, on the other hand the radially expanding main catchment areas of Eder ( Schwalm ), Unterer Fulda (especially Schlitz and Lüder ), Main ( Kinzig and Nidda ) and Lahn ( Ohms ).
A distinction is made between the following natural areas:
- 350 Lower Vogelsberg
- 350.1 Northern Lower Vogelsberg
- 350.2 Northwestern Lower Vogelsberg
- 350.3 Eastern Lower Vogelsberg
- 350.4 Western Lower Vogelsberg
- 350.5 Southern Lower Vogelsberg
- 350.6 Gieseler Forest
- 351 High Vogelsberg
- 351.0 Western High Vogelsberg
- 351.1 Eastern High Vogelsberg
- 351.2 Oberwald
Soils and rocks are roughly the same in all parts of the Vogelsberg - with the exception of the Gieseler Forst - but the annual average temperature drops noticeably towards the center (up to 5 K ) and the annual rainfall increases to up to 1200 mm towards the upper forest.
The basalt surface of the Vogelsberg continues to the east and north into neighboring natural areas, while the Gieseler Forest in the east, like the natural areas adjoining in all eastern directions, is already on red sandstone .
The Oberwald (351.2) is the center of the Vogelsberg and is completely forested; its outer limit roughly follows the 600 m contour line. In the outer parts of the Vogelsberg, on the other hand, meadows and arable land mix with forest areas.
On the northern slope of the Taufstein there are large blocks of basalt.
Outer High Vogelsberg
Because large parts of the original forest have been cleared and precipitation exceeds 1000 mm per year, the snowmelt sets in early. This and the poorly permeable basalt clay soils lead to frequent floods.
In this part of the Vogelsberg, wooded areas, wetlands, grasslands and stream valleys alternate in a loose sequence; there is also a raised bog and in the southeast some still waters, the Vogelsberg lakes .
Lower Vogelsberg (without Gieseler Forest)
The basaltic part of the Lower Vogelsberg (350.1-350.5) has altitudes between 300 and Wetterau z. T. under ., on the western to southwestern seam line to the
The demarcation to the Büdinger forest to the south, to the ridge to the southeast and to the Gieseler forest (see below) to the east adheres less to the relief than to the geological transition from basalt to red sandstone.
There is also this geological transition to the Fulda-Haune-Tafelland , which is in front of the Knüll in the northeast, with the Großenlüder-Lauterbacher Graben in between . In the north, on the other hand, the volcanic only ends in the adjoining northern Vogelsberg foreland , i.e. outside the actual Vogelsberg. The Vordere Vogelsberg , located outside the latter in the north-west, also contains basalt over large parts. To the west, the basalt zone extends far into the flat, undulating Wetterau; this valley connects directly to the middle and lower reaches of the Horloff .
In terms of natural landscape, the island-like forested area is a pearl grass beech forest area.
In the Gieseler Forest (350.6), which is around 130 km² in size, the Vogelsberg, with altitudes of at least over Fulda valley . The only part of the Vogelsberg located on red sandstone is clearly separated from the basaltic parts of the Lower Vogelsberg., pushes itself to the east right up to the
(.. And Others In addition to the most of the natural area covering forestation pine forests ) exist at the mighty spoil heaps of mined at Neuhof and shoulder joints potash - deposits also largely free of vegetation areas.
Adjacent natural areas
In the following, the transitions of the Vogelsberg into the adjacent natural areas are described, clockwise and starting in the northwest.
In the Vorderen Vogelsberg (main unit 349) with the Lumda plateau (natural area 349.0) as the central plateau , which takes up most of the area, the basalt slab of the Vogelsberg extends far into the West Hessian mountains , where it only breaks off shortly before the Marburg-Gießener Lahntal . The Untere Vogelsberg is only connected to the actual plateau via a narrow corridor along the Lahn - Main watershed, while to the north-east of it, in the Ohmtal , a valley trench sets the morphological boundary. Also to the southwest of the corridor, in the Laubach hill country , the Vordere flattens out significantly compared to the Lower Vogelsberg.
Northern Vogelsberg foreland
The transition from the north-western Lower Vogelsberg to the northern Vogelsberg foreland (natural area 346.2), the southern part of the Upper Hessian threshold (main unit 346), which connects the Vogelsberg with the Kellerwald along the Rhine-Weser watershed , runs almost smoothly . The landscape remains almost above sea level until just before the Neustädter Sattel , the central depression of the threshold . Only in the middle of the foreland is the basalt gradually replaced by red sandstone.
The character of a high plateau with hardly any significant devastation in an east-west direction is also clear from the fact that the drift coming from the Vogelsberg passes this natural area in the immediate east of the watershed in a south-north direction. The main river in the west, the Klein , runs in a north-westerly direction and follows a more continuous and rapid drop in altitude between the levels of the Vogelsberg and the flat Amöneburg Basin , where the Klein meets the Ohm at less than 200 m.
West Hessian valley
The Schwalmtal widens significantly near Alsfeld, where the Lower Vogelsberg ends comparatively abruptly to the north. From here, the natural border zone of the West Hessian Depression extends between the West and East Hessian mountains to the Weserbergland .
In contrast to the West Hessian depression, which is mainly radially distant from the Vogelsberg, the Fulda depression (main unit 352) forms an arc around the Vogelsberg and separates it from the adjacent parts of the Fulda-Haune-Tafelland (355) and the Kuppenrhön (353).
Behind the Großenlüder-Lauterbacher Graben (natural area 352.2), which runs to the southeast, in Ottrauer Bergland (355.0) and Schlitzer Land (355.1), there are landscapes between Vogelsberg and Knüll as well as foothills of the northern Kuppenrhön, which are already in the immediate vicinity of the Graben again at altitudes of up to and thus that of the neighboring Lower Vogelsberg z. T. even exceed.
On the other hand, the ascent to the east of the Gieseler Forst runs rather leisurely to more montane parts of the Rhön behind the wide Fulda basin (352.1) and, in each case to the south-west, to the narrow Kerzeller Fliedetal (352.01) and the Fliedener basin (352.00).
South of the Fliedener Basin (see above) and north of the Schlüchtern Basin (natural area 141.6), which is already part of the Spessart , the ridge (353.0) on the Rhine-Weser watershed connects the Vogelsberg with the Rhön , whose main unit (353 = Kuppenrhön) he is attributed. The transitions from the Gieseler Forst to the south and from the southern Untere Vogelsberg to the southeast to the ridge run gently over a very small contact line.
In the immediate vicinity of the ridge, basalt and red sandstone are replacing, which underlines its "hybrid nature" with shares of the characteristic rocks of Kuppenrhön and Vogelsberg.
While on the southern seam line from the east of the southern Lower Vogelsberg and from the ridge to the Schlüchtern basin the transition from basalt to red sandstone-containing rocks also manifests itself in the form of a flattening relief, further west the transitions from the East Hessian mountains to the Spessart (to the main unit group 14) run clearly more fluent. Less at the height levels than at the z. The transition to the Büdinger Forest (main unit 143) is recognizable, sometimes seemingly abruptly onset of dense forest . Altitudes of around 400 m, in the extreme west less than 300 m, correspond to those of the adjacent parts of the western and southern Lower Vogelsberg.
To the west of the Büdinger Forest is the Ronneburger Hügelland (232.0), which at the Niddertal near Glauburg also touches the western Lower Vogelsberg. However, this hilly country with little relief, already counted as part of the Rhine-Main lowlands (main unit group 23), is commonly assigned to the Wetterau (see below).
Towards the southwest, the Untere Vogelsberg flattens out much faster than in all other directions and, even within the western Untere Vogelsberg, falls below the 200 m limit in a wide area.
The Horloff lowland (natural area 234.01) on the middle and lower reaches of the eponymous river , as part of the Wetterau (main unit 234), forms at first glance a comparatively sharp demarcation of this landscape from the Vogelsberg. However, as already indicated above, the extreme west of the western Lower Vogelsberg is already very poor in relief on this side of the Horloff. a. also manifested in the fact that the left, i.e. eastern tributaries of the Horloff from the Vogelsberg are even more profitable here than the right ones from the Munzenberger Ridge (234.01), which represents a minimal range of mountains running in north-south direction in the center of the Wetterau.
Although the basalt clod breaks off abruptly to the west on the Horloff lowland, it stretches further north into the plains to the west and with a south-facing tip also extends into the Münzenberg Ridge.
Table of the individual natural spaces (with mountains)
In the following, the natural spaces are arranged from the inside to the outside, secondarily in a clockwise direction.
with a height in meters (m) above sea level
(unless otherwise stated according to)
|351.2||Oberwald||37.02||Only the rivers originating in the center:|
The Vogelsberg is located in the middle of the temperate climate zone in the transition area between Atlantic and continental climate influence. In the direction of the upper forest, the annual mean temperatures decrease significantly and the amount of precipitation increases considerably.
The growing season in the Hohen Vogelsberg is 120 to 140 days a year. This is the period in which the daily mean temperature values are at least 10 ° C. In the low mountain ranges, the temperature decreases with every increase of 100 meters by an average of 0.5 to 0.8 ° C. In the Vogelsberg this falls on the west side by about 0.55 ° C and on the east side by about 0.45 ° C per 100 meters of increase in altitude. In the Hohen Vogelsberg, the average vegetation period varies between 135 days in Herchenhain and 157 days in Gedern . The mean annual temperatures are below 6 ° C in the highest locations around Taufstein, Hoherodskopf, Sieben Ahorn and Herchenhainer Höhe.
On the western Vogelsberg, the precipitation increases significantly compared to the Wetterau. Due to the damming effect of the mountains, the precipitation increases steadily from the Wetterau in an easterly direction over Schotten to the Oberwald. The increase slows down from a height line of about 330 meters above sea level. The average annual rainfall is from 400 meters above sea level at about 900 mm, between 500 and 600 meters above sea level a little over 1000 mm and above 600 meters above 1100 mm. The eastern part of the mountains lying in the lee , on the other hand, has significantly lower values. However, there are fluctuations in annual precipitation. The range is 40% to 160% in the long-term values. In 1981, 1700 mm of precipitation was recorded in the Hohen Vogelsberg. On the other hand, there was particularly little precipitation in 1976 with less than 700 mm annual precipitation, measured in Ulrichstein .
However, there are also differences in the distribution of precipitation during a year. The Hohe Vogelsberg has the maximum in winter and secondary maximums in July and August, while the peripheral areas receive the most rainfall in the summer months from June to August with a minimum in spring. Compared to the surrounding landscapes, the Vogelsberg is characterized by large amounts of winter snow. In the Oberwald, 34% of all precipitation falls as snow and a closed snow cover exists for an average of 78 days. In the western Wetterau, however, it is only 10% or 16 days.
Bodies of water and water supply
Not only a section of the Rhine-Weser watershed runs over the Vogelsberg , but also ( Weser - or Fulda -internal) the watershed between Eder or Schwalm and Unterer Fulda and ( Rhine -internal) that between Main and Lahn .
In addition to water from the Spessart and Hessian Ried, ground and spring water from the Vogelsberg ensures the drinking water supply in the Rhine-Main area . As early as 1876, sources in the eastern Vogelsberg were taken and the construction of a water pipeline from the Spessart and Vogelsberg to Frankfurt am Main was completed. A lack of understanding of the special hydrogeological and ecological situation in the Vogelsberg and excessively high withdrawals resulted in springs failing, settlement cracks in buildings and, in parts, the ground sagging. The Upper Hessian Utilities AG (OVAG) are the largest water pumps in the Vogelsberg: they pump around 30 million cubic meters of groundwater from their wells every year ; 2/3 of this is given to the city of Frankfurt am Main in the Rhine-Main area.
Numerous flowing waters , brooks and rivers arise in the Vogelsberg , spreading out radially around the center of the elevation, flowing away in all directions. Looking clockwise, the rivers flow into the main catchment areas Schwalm, Untere Fulda, Kinzig, Nidda and Ohm. Often a river known by name is fed by several main arms of approximately equal status.
The main rivers systematically
The main rivers of the Vogelsberg are ordered clockwise, starting in the north:
In relation to the Vogelsberg, however, the specified lengths are misleading:
- The Schwalm gets only a fraction of its water from the Vogelsberg and is a. still fed by Knüll and Kellerwald .
- The lilac is only fed from the left side of the Vogelsberg, while the right tributaries come from the Rhön and Land ridge .
- The Kinzig itself does not flow through the low mountain range. Only the most important right tributaries come from the Vogelsberg, while z. B. the left spring from the Spessart .
- In the Nidda system, the weather leaves the Vogelsberg shortly after its source and moves into a. still water from the Taunus ; The Horloff also soon leaves the Vogelsberg and henceforth only forms the western border.
- The ohms in the middle course u. a. still fed by the Kellerwald.
Table of the main arms of the Vogelsberg
If the natural boundaries of the Vogelsberg (main units 350-351) are taken as a basis, as far as compatible with the river structures, 16 main arms lead out of the Vogelsberg, which can be assigned to 5 main rivers:
||up to and
[l / s]
|Schwalm||Drive||Mouth of the Göringer Bach||14.0||52,307||607.1||
|Schwalm||Schwalm||Mouth of the Krebsbach||19.7||93.257||1043.6||
|Lower Fulda||slot||Confluence of the Lauter and Altefeld rivers||30.0||271,802||3465.5||
|Lower Fulda||Lüder||before the division at Uffhausen||26.6||146.813||2073.1||
|Lower Fulda||Giesel||Mouth of the Gresel||4.8||38.387||267.8||
|Lower Fulda||Lilac||Mouth of the Kemmete
(left tributaries, measured over Kemmete)
|Estuary into the Kinzig||23.2||64.787||798.1||
|Tiny||Ulmbach||Estuary into the Kinzig||13.4||20.286||271.4||
|Tiny||salt||Confluence below Wahlert||25.4||82,394||1134.3||
|Tiny||Brings||Mouth of the Reichenbach||23.8||97.192||1431.3||
|Nidda||Seemenbach||Mouth of the Wolfsbach||29.8||119.282||1283.5||
|Nidda||Nidder||Mouth of the Bleichenbach||32.9||149.480||1748.4||
|Nidda||Nidda||Mouth of the Wehrbach||41.6||237.506||2273.4||
(+ eastern tributaries of the Horloff lowland )
|Nidda||Weather||above the mouth of the Lauter||12.0||25.734||289.3||
|ohm||ohm||Mouth of the Felda||26.6||264,069||3209.7||
The five main rivers of the Vogelsberg in comparison
According to the above values, which deviate only minimally from the natural division of the Vogelsberg, result for the five main catchment areas:
[l / s]
|Vogelsberg as a whole||1,834,959||100.0||21,669.6||100.0|
The still waters of the Vogelsberg include these lakes and ponds (sorted alphabetically):
In the summer, in addition to hiking, many bicycle tours can be carried out, as several cycle paths ( volcano cycle path , Vogelsberger Südbahn cycle path ...) have been built. In addition, regular RMV buses , the so-called Vulkan-Express, run from Büdingen , Stockheim , Nidda , Hungen , Mücke and Schlitz via Lauterbach on weekends with trailers for bicycles to the heights of the Vogelsberg. Most bus lines go to the Hoherodskopf and can be combined with each other.
The Vulkanradweg and the Südbahnradweg are paved; they can also be used well by inline skaters . Cyclists will find a large network of signposted thematic bike paths in front of them and in the Vogelsberg NatureFitnessPark around the highest peaks there are also 70 km of signposted mountain bike trails.
The Hoherodskopf is a tourist center of the region. The nature conservation information center of the Hoher Vogelsberg nature park and a tourist information center for the city of Schotten with daily opening times all year round are located here. From here, three nature discovery trails built in 2009 on the topics of geology, nature and sensory perception start. There is a summer toboggan run, a climbing forest, numerous hiking trails and several rest stops.
Mining has been documented in Vogelsberg for several hundred years. Initially, iron and, to a lesser extent, other mineral resources were mined, as well as basalt for masonry, paving and gravel. In ancient times , the ore obtained was smelted using racing furnaces . The racing ovens, located on the streams, were operated with charcoal, so that a comprehensive charcoal- burning facility was closely linked to mining. The iron ores here were usually surrounded by iron-containing clays , these were extracted in open-cast mining . The ores consisted of so-called lump ore, which was extracted in the tunnel construction , such as B. in Grebenhain . Ore mining ended in the 1960s, e.g. B. in Nieder-Ohmen in the northern Vogelsberg. Up to 25 iron stone pits are known in the Vogelsberg area.
Since the aforementioned mining activities are no longer of any importance for the Vogelsberg, there and in the surrounding area are still several quarries that extract the basalt in the surface. The basalt obtained in this way is processed into mixtures and chippings for civil engineering, road and path construction and for the production of asphalt and concrete. In total, well over 1 million tons of basalt are mined and used each year.
References and comments
- Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
- Roland Walter u. a .: Geology of Central Europe . 5th edition. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-510-65149-9 , pp. 334 .
- Heinz-Dieter Nesbor: The Vogelsberg volcanic area . In: Geological Yearbook Hessen . tape 139 . Wiesbaden 2018, p. 5-41 .
- Map and legend of the natural areas of Hesse (online copy of Die Naturraum Hessens , Otto Klausing 1988) in the Hesse Environmental Atlas of the Hessian State Office for Environment and Geology
- "Geological overview map of Hesse". Historical atlas of Hessen. In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
- Landscape profile 35002 - Fuldavorland des Vogelsberg ( Memento of the original from July 25, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Gieseler Forst) , on bfn.de
- Berghöhe - various mountains according to an unknown / not researched source
- Nature in Hessen - The Vogelsberg: Land of Hedges - Land of Sources. Wardenburg / Tungeln 2002, ISBN 3-931323-11-0 , pp. 12-13.
- Water map service of the Hessian Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Protection ( information )
- Nature conservation information center on the Hoherodskopf
- Mining in the Vogelsberg . ( Mining in Vogelsberg [accessed on September 11, 2017]).
- iron stone mining . ( Brauneisenstein-Bergbau [accessed September 11, 2017]).
- Interactive map services
Landscape profiles of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( notes ) - by main units:
- 35001 Unterer Vogelsberg
- 35002 Gieseler Forst ( labeled " Fuldavorland des Vogelsberg ")
- 35100 Hoher Vogelsberg (misleadingly referred to as " Oberwald ")
- Adjacent landscapes (clockwise):
- 34900 Vorderer Vogelsberg
- 34601 Northern Vogelsberg foreland
- 34300 West Hessian Depression
- 35501 Fulda-Haune-Tafelland
- 35200 Fuldaer Senke (with different boundaries in the northwest)
- 35302 Ridge (together with the western Rhön foreland)
- 14104 Schlüchtern basin
- 14300 Büdinger Forest
- 23301 Ronneburg hill country
- 23400 Wetterau (together with Giessen Basin)
- Vogelsberg - Hesse's veteran (Vogelsberg Consult GmbH)
- Nature Park Hoher Vogelsberg , on naturpark-hoher-vogelsberg.de
- Major nature conservation project Vogelsberg , on naturschutzgrossprojekt-vogelsberg.de
- Vulkaneum (museum) , on vulkaneum.com
- Map / aerial photo of the Vogelsberg with natural boundaries , all important elevations and river systems / placemarks ( Google Earth required)
- Literature on Vogelsberg in the Hessian Bibliography
- Georg Eurich: The Vogelsberg in the heart of Germany . Wartberg Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2000, ISBN 3-86134-938-8 .
- Wilhelm Schottler : The Vogelsberg . Notes of the Hessian Geological State Institute in Darmstadt, 5th episode, 18th issue. Darmstadt 1937, OCLC 634810652 .
- Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen (Hrsg.): Cultural discoveries Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Vogelsbergkreis, Wetteraukreis . Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-7954-2189-2 .
- Roland Walter among other things: Geology of Central Europe . 5th edition. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-510-65149-9 , pp. 334 .
- Fritz Wolff: Wetterau and Vogelsberg in old maps = history and culture in Wetterau and Vogelsberg 2. Friedberg .
- Herwig Klemp: The Vogelsberg, land of hedges - land of springs . Herwig Klemp Verlag, Wardenburg / Tungeln 2002, ISBN 3-931323-11-0 , p. 88 .