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Liechtenstein - Die Nahtstelle der Alpen

 About the geological diversity of the Liechtenstein Alps

di GeoMops     Liechtenstein

N 47° 08.335' E 009° 31.366' (WGS84)

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 Dimensioni: nessun contenitore
Stato: disponibile
 Nascosta il: 28. ottobre 2009
 Pubblicata dal: 03. novembre 2009
 Ultimo aggiornamento: 07. marzo 2018
 Listing: https://opencaching.it/OC96DE
Pubblicata anche su: geocaching.com 

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1304 Pagina visite
24 Log immagini
Storia Geoketry
2 Raccomandazioni

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Descrizione    Deutsch  ·  English (Inglese)

Geological assembly of the Alps

The Alps are - in comparison to their surroundings - a relatively young range of fold mountains. They originate from the drift of the African against the Northern European tectonic plates since Upper Jurassic (Malm) 150 MBP, that persists until today. Strata of an ancient basin of the Tethys Ocean, that had been deposited here since Perm 250 MBP, were shifted. The southernly strata were shifted upon the northerly ones during this process.

Drawing 1: Schematic drawing of the assembly of the Alps

In the eastern Alps the Austoalpine nappes have almost been shifted to the northern edge of the Alps and cover the other nappes there - therefor the name. In the region of todays Switzerland the Austroalpine nappes have been almost completely eroded. In northern Switzerland the Helvetic nappes are topmost and so made their name. In the southern Switzerland the Penninic nappes is topmost. In the eastern Alps these are displayed in the outcrops as windows (Hohe Tauern) because of tectonic processes. At the northern edge of the Alps between the Austoalpine and small islands of the Helvetic nappes a Flysch zone can be found. It was the trough of the Cretaceous subduction zone. Because of the excessive thrust fault several nappe stacks may be displayed in quite small regions. Therefor the Alps appear very versatile landscaped in geological respect.

Drawing 2: Schematic drawing of the allocation of the main nappe stacks in the Alps

Geology of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is located on the edge beween western and eastern Alps. This edge proceeds along the Alp Rhine in north-southern direction. The area of Liechtenstein covers notably multiple geological zones, that are introduced in the following.

Drawing 3: Schematic drawing of the main nappes in Liechtenstein


The major part of the Liechtensteiner Alps belongs to the Austroalpine nappes. The innermost stratum is built of bunter and shell limestone. These are covered by slate and lime strata. The steep slopes in the south of the Malbuntal and the Hahnenspiel in the Saminatal are build of lime and dolomite of the Arlberg strata. Between Malbun and Sassfürkle pits build by caved in gypsum with gypsum crystals and 'Marienglas' inside them can be found. Because of the gypsum in the north of Erble a mineral source's water divides milk. The slate and sandstones contain multiple fossils like fern and horsetail. The Ochsenkopf, Zigerberg, Gallinakopf, Drei Schwestern, Kuhgrat and Alpspitz are bult of Dolomite rock. Nearby the Drei Schwestern hand sized plates of Hematite crystals can be found. From the Jurassic 200 MBP over the Cretaceous period to Eocene 40 MBP derived the strata of the Falknisdecke. The Falknis breccia series indicates the biocoenosis of an ancient coastline. There debris of corals, algae, Belemnitae, mussels, worms gear, echinites, snails, punks and water lilies can be found as fossils.


The Fläscher- and Schellenberg stick out the Rhine valley as an apophysis of the Helvetic nappes and build its natural border. Particulary at the Schellenberg this stratum contains a lot of fossils. Most important are the cretaceous Belemnites in the 'Schrattenkalk', fish teeth in the Luitere fossil stratum and Ammonites, mussels and snails in the Lochwald stratum.

Flysch zone

Between the Schellenberg in the north and the Austroalpine the westmost apophysis of the Flysch zone covers Liechtenstein. The Flysch zone is classified into three units: the Vorarlberger Flysch between Maurerberg and Schaan, the Vaduzer Flysch between Wildschloss and Triesen and the Triesner Flysch in the south of Triesen. The Vorarlberger Flysch is exalted up to 1000m with fossil Fukoidae and Helminthoidae inside the Plankner series. Very rich is the microfauna of Couches-rouges, particulary with Globotruncanae from the Upper Cretaceous in the grey and red clay and lime strata. Between Triesenberg and Gapfahl-Obersäss a Sulzfluh stratum is located built of Couches-rouges, slate, Flysch, light grey lime, but granite, too.

Rhine valley

Granite, partially as erratic blocks, may be found together with gneiss and garnet containing 'Stahlstein' slate in the moraine of the quarterny Rhine glacier. The Rhine valley itself is somehow obscure: to date it is not discovered, if the Rhine valley is a geo-technical depression or a result of erosion processes; maybe it is caused by breakage splittings. The geological basics lead to another devolution of the Rhine, but ...

Sources (sorry, in German language only)

  1. Stabsstelle für Kommunikation und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit - Postfach 684 - 9490 Vaduz. http://www.liechtenstein.li/
  2. Alpen-Info / Liechtenstein http://alpen-info.at/html/liechtenstein.html
  3. C. Kuhn: Einführung in die geologischen Zonen Österreichs. http://www.8ung.at/geologie/geinfueh.htm
  4. Institut für Geographie der Universität Stuttgart: http://www.geographie.uni-stuttgart.de/links/
  5. Wikipedia: Alpidische Orogenese: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpidische_Orogenese

All drawings have been composed by the owner using the mentioned sources. The photo has been taken during a visit at September 30, 2009.

About this cache

This cache tries to give you an approximate overview about the geological basics of the Liechtensteiner Alps. The whole Principality is mentioned, so it is not easy to give this cache an appropriate location. Substitutional the Tourist office of Vaduz was chosen, because all information required to solve the questions of this cache can be retrieved here - most easily these of the Stabsstelle für Kommunikation und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit. The team of the Tourist office proved very friendly and helpful, especially to solve any questions around Liechtenstein!

An addition to this cache I suggest excursions into the multifarious landscapes of the Principality of Liechtenstein to every interested visitor. There you may explore for example the Geology of this region in situ.


  1. Which route should the river Rhine take in respect to the geological basics?

  2. What overlying strata cover the western hillsides of the Fläscher- and Schellenberg?

  3. Of which bedrock is the Ellhorn as a prominent extension of the Fläscherberg built and from which period does it originate?

Log validation

  1. To claim this cache as found you have to write an email containing as subject the GC-code of this cache, a valid return address and as body text the answers to the questions to GeoMops@web.de. You will receive an answer with the permission to log if your answers are correct within a few days.

  2. Attach a picture of you in the foreground and the Vaduz Castle in the background to your log.

Logs without permission and / or picture will be deleted.

I hope you will enjoy this cache - it is the first Earthcache in Liechtenstein - have fun!


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trovata 06. settembre 2018 GG WG ha trovato la geocache

Auf unseren Weg durch Vaduz auf diesen EC aufmerksam geworden.
Wir haben einiges über die Geologie gelernt.

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trovata 18. agosto 2018, 14:40 b_smurf ha trovato la geocache

Heute radeln wir hinunter zum Bodensee und machen hier in Vaduz Kaffeepause. Einen Earth zu finden passt da prima. Dankeschön!

Immagini per questo log:

trovata 27. luglio 2018 URilomeo ha trovato la geocache

Auf dem Weg nach Pisa habe ich einen Zwischenstopp in Liechtenstein eingelegt. Dabei wurde auch die Nahtstelle der Alpen untersucht und die Antworten für diesen Earthcache ermittelt. Danke für das Herlocken.

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URi unter dem SchlossURi unter dem Schloss

trovata 31. marzo 2018 chris2286266 ha trovato la geocache

Muss die Fragen noch beantworten, daher erst mal eine Note mit Foto nahe der Headers in Richtung Schloss.

Edit 31.3.2018:
Status von Note auf Found geändert.
Fragen beantwortet und vom netten Owner noch weitere Informationen erhalten. Danke sehr!

TFTC (#3692)

trovata 02. gennaio 2018, 00:12 red_runner ha trovato la geocache

Heute haben wir einen Ausflug nach Liechtenstein gemacht und haben auch diesen interessanten Earthcache gelöst! [:)]
Die erste Frage hat uns erst etwas aus dem Konzept gebracht, aber irgendwann haben wir dann doch die Antwort gefunden! [:D]

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