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Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.15 Engineer's Geological Map (Edition 2017)

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Sediments of the Tertiary

Tertiary sediments are found only in the neighbourhoods of Hermsdorf and Lübars in Reinickendorf borough. This involves a small-scale deposit in the area of Lake Hermsdorf, where marine rupelium from the lower oligocene is found near the surface.

Petrograpically, this involves light gray to olive gray, calcareous silty clays and clayey silts with low sand content. Embedded concretionary limestone islands are called septaries and gave the clay the name "septary clay".

Because of its clay and silt content, rupelium is a cohesive sediment with very low water-conductive capacity (aquitard).

Tab. 8: Physical soil values of the rupelium of the Tertiary
Particle size distribution: Clay, silty, partially weakly sandy
Fig./group symbol as per DIN 18 196: TA
Non-uniformity U: 5 - 40
Density of damp soil ρ: 2.2 - 2.9 g/
Dry density ρd: 2.6 - 2.8 g/
Water content w: 7 - 10 %
Yield point wL: 0.6 - 0.8
From rolling limit wP: 0.2 - 0.3
Plasticity coefficient IP: 30 - 50
Consistency number intercity Ic: > 1
Stiffness Modulus ES (σ = 0.1 - 0.3 MN/sq.m): 20 - 40 MN/ sq.m
Plasticity range: Very plastic


The anthropogenic deposits belonging to the latest Holocene deposits are shown only when their thickness exceeds five meters. This is usually construction rubble mixed with varying proportions of sand, gravel or till. The deposits may have been dumped over a large area, or in the form of rubble hills.

Former Watercourses, Ditches and City-Fortification Systems

Also, in the area of the historical centre of Berlin, former watercourses and ditches and those filled in more recently, as well as those of the city fortification systems (moats, etc.), are shown by cross-hatching.

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