Content

Geological Outline

Summary

You’re keen to learn more about how Berlin originated? Let’s embark on a geological journey through time and explore the formation of the natural landscape of Berlin-Brandenburg. The formation is intertwined with the most recent era of the history of our planet, i.e. the Quaternary. During this period, also known as the Ice Age, today’s characteristic landscape of the region was formed by plateaus and the Glacial Spillway incl. its side valleys. Berlin’s population heavily relies on the composition of the sediments of the Quaternary and its preceding period, the Tertiary, as the public water supply is entirely sourced from their groundwater-bearing layers.

The Geological Outline highlights what geological units can be found in the urban area. Its data generally reaches as far as two metres underground. The Engineer’s Geological Map, however, probes even deeper into the ground.

Data from multiple geological maps were superimposed to form the Geological Outline. Additionally, strata records of some 140,000 boreholes of the geological database of the State of Berlin were evaluated.

Berlin’s geology near the surface can be roughly divided into five parts: the north is dominated by the Barnim Plateau, a ground moraine plate covered by boulder marl. In the north-east, we have the Panke Valley, where the ground consists mainly of valley sand, which is also the case in the Warsaw-Berlin Glacial Spillway along the Spree and northern-part of the river Havel. The Teltow Plateau is located in the south of the city with the Nauen Plate extending into the southwest, where boulder marl and meltwater sand predominate.