, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 541–554 | Cite as

Extremely distal fluvial sandstone within the playa system of Arnstadt Formation (Norian, Late Triassic), Central Germany

  • U. K. Shukla
  • G. H. Bachmann
  • G. Beutler
  • J. Barnasch
  • M. Franz
Original article


The Wachsenburg Sandstone of Thuringia (Central Germany) occurs within playa deposits of the Arnstadt Formation (Late Triassic, Norian) and furnishes an example of ephemeral river metamorphosis under dryland conditions. Characterized by high flow regime features, the sand-dominated lithofacies constitution exhibits sedimentation by channel processes under the influence of recurring flash floods. Bearing signatures of subaerial exposures, the fining-upward lithofacies cycles are bound by low-angle lateral accretion elements suggesting deposition in a meandering stream. Channel migration in response to point bar expansion and active bank erosion, led to the development of four laterally shifting point bar events. Unimodal palaeocurrent patterns with low variance and azimuthal dispersion support the point bar origin of the Wachsenburg Sandstone. With reduced water budget under largely semi-arid climate, the river progressively became smaller, highly sinuous and ultimately abandoned. The resulting point bar succession was finally covered with sheet flow deposits of over bank origin. The sandstone was deposited during a period of low base-level when the playa system temporarily fell dry.


Ephemeral river Meandering river Flash flood Playa system Triassic (Norian) Germany 



UKS acknowledges support by the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn (Ref. IV.INI/1114993STP) for research work at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. K. Shukla
    • 1
  • G. H. Bachmann
    • 2
  • G. Beutler
    • 2
  • J. Barnasch
    • 2
  • M. Franz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geology, Banaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften, Martin-Luther-UniversitätHalle (Saale)Germany

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