Berlin’s morphology was largely shaped by the Weichselian Glaciation. It began about 115,000 years ago and ended some 11,600 years ago. This period saw the formation of the Barnim Plateau including the Panke Valley in the north of the city, the Teltow Plateau in the south and the Warsaw-Berlin Glacial Spillway including the river Spree. The Engineer’s Geological Map reveals which geological layers occur up to 10 metres underground and how thick these are. It is used in construction planning and design, for example, to assess the load-bearing capacity of the ground.
Between 1993 and 2015, the map series “Engineer’s Geological Map of Berlin 1 : 5,000” was digitised. At present, there are 71 single sheets, for which strata records from around 73,000 bore holes from the geological database of the Berlin State Geological Survey were analysed.
The maps available to date comprise the boroughs of Pankow, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Lichtenberg, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Mitte, Neukölln and Treptow-Köpenick either completely or for the most part. Only parts of the boroughs of Reinickendorf, Spandau, Tempelhof-Schöneberg and Steglitz-Zehlendorf are covered. It emerges, for example, that the ground along the Spree as well as along the Panke often consists of humus sand, peat and gyttja, i.e. holocene sediments. Dune sands, however, can often be found in the ground of the Tegeler Forst in Reinickendorf. The north-east of the city is built on boulder clay and marl, the ground of the Glacial Spillway is characterised by thick sands.