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Stop 15 at Ries

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Old limestone quarry at Iggenhausen
Old limestone quarry at Iggenhausen
Photo: G. Osinski, University of Western Ontario
Location: 8.5 kilometers southwest of the south crater rim
Scale: Height of the cliff is 11 meters

This retired quarry is situated within a huge block of Malm limestone, about 500 meters across, which lies within the Bunte Breccia. This block was thrown out from the crater and incorporated into the Bunte Breccia during the formation of the Ries impact structure. Imagine the amount of energy required to do this!

The "Gries" structure in limestone
The "Gries" structure in limestone
Photo: G. Osinski, University of Western Ontario
Location: 8.5 kilometers southwest of the south crater rim
Scale: Height of the rock hammer is 35 centimeters

If we take a closer look at the limestone in this quarry, we see that it is almost completely fractured. No wonder, given that it was thrown several kilometers away by the impact event! The German scientists who first studied it called this highly fractured limestone "gries". Given that this limestone is completely fractured, what do you think it could be used for?

Answer: Unlike the limestone at Gundelsheim (stop 10), which is used for building material, this fractured limestone is used as aggregate to make the roads in this region.

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