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Gravity anomalies and subsurface geology in the Westerwald volcanic area, Germany


The area of the present study constitutes an alkaline volcanic province in the eastern sector of the Rhenish massif. A series of gravity measurements were carried out on the volcanic fields of the Westerwald. Three-dimensional modelling and wavelength filtering processing techniques were used to analyze the gravity data. The filtered Bouguer anomaly maps show two major regional gravity features: (a) Increasing Bouguer values towards the northeastern part of the study area could be caused by lateral lithological variations within the upper crust. (2) Local negative Bouguer values in the southwest correlate with magmatic materials of intermediate type. The modelling results indicate that the volcanics of the Westerwald are underlain by two different magmatic complexes at a depth in the range 3.3–10 km with density values of 2680 and 2750 kg/m3. The densities assigned to the local igneous intrusions are in the range of 2314–2948 kg/m3 and at depths between 0.4 and 1.3 km. In the NE a diabase bed was modelled to a maximum depth of approximately 1.6 km using the assigned density of 2800 kg/m3.

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Received: 8 June 1998 / Accepted: 2 February 1998

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El-Kelani, R., Jentzsch, G. & Schreiber, U. Gravity anomalies and subsurface geology in the Westerwald volcanic area, Germany. Geol Rundsch 87, 381–393 (1998).

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  • Key words Gravity data
  • Bouguer anomalies
  • Wavelength filtering
  • Three-dimensional modelling
  • Westerwald
  • Tertiary volcanics