Hochosterwitz, Kärnten, Austria
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member luzzi-reloaded
N 46° 45.310 E 014° 27.190
33T E 458237 N 5178102
Quick Description: Hochosterwitz, Kärnten, Austria
Location: Kärnten, Austria
Date Posted: 2/8/2012 11:17:23 AM
Waymark Code: WMDP36
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 7

Long Description:
The valley of Launsdorf is shaped by the imposing rock of Hochosterwitz. The massive rock is about 160 meters high and is crested with one of the most well-known castles of Carinthia. The steep way with 14 big gates up to the medieval fortification is especially impressive. The castle rock is not only a popular tourist attraction, but also geologically interesting. It consists of Triassic dolomite and its isolated position is caused by subsidence of a north-south striking narrow graben structure within the larger 20 km wide tectonical graben system of the Krappfeld.

Fig. 1: View from GC1ZHQ6 to the castle rock.
Geology of the Krappfeldgraben

The west side of the graben consists of phyllitic micaceous shale as well as micaceous shale with many paleozoic volcanic inclusions of the upper east Gurktaler Alps. The east side consists mostly of more metamorphic micaceous shale and shale geneiss of the middle east alps (Saualpen crystalline). The padding of the Krappfeld graben consists of the old paleozoic basement of the upper east alpine cover as well as the post variscite cover including a cretaceous and paleogen cover. These contents are disrupted into many graben clods which are proceeding from north to south, and were lowered in different depths (cf. fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Diagram of the graben structures in the Krappfeldgraben , from [1].
Hochosterwitz Graben

One of these graben-in-graben structures is the Hochosterwitz graben, which is only a few hundred meters wide. This special very thin graben of Hochosterwitz runs from Freudenberg in the south, crossing the mountainous country between Magdalensberg and Christofberg to the Labon graben, up to Maria Wolschart. On the west and east side of the Hochosterwitz graben there are ordovician and siluric basement layers of the Magdalensberg. The paddings constist mostly of permoskytic red sandstone, the anis-ladinic Wetterstein dolomite, and black weathering clay shale. Due to the Upper Cretaceous to Post Eocene tectonical fault deformation the layers of the dolomite rock was down faulted about 500 to 700 meters compared to the neighboring paleozoic shale of the Magdalensberg. So the rock was protected from erosion for a very long time.

In the Quaternary (Würm glacial epoch), the valley of Launsdorf was filled with a mighty glacier. This glacier laid open the tectonical higher layers and pushed away the accumulated talus on the covered foothill of the castle rock. This event is known as relief inversion. Thus, the steep face of the castle rock, as we know it today, has become visible. Figure 3 shows a geological profile oft he Hochosterwitz graben, as it exists today.
Waymark is confirmed to be publicly accessible: yes

Parking Coordinates: N 46° 45.362 W 014° 27.135

Access fee (In local currency): .00

Requires a high clearance vehicle to visit.: no

Requires 4x4 vehicle to visit.: no

Public Transport available: yes

Website reference: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
No specific requirements, just have fun visiting the waymark.
Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Places of Geologic Significance
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
aendgraend visited Hochosterwitz, Kärnten, Austria 9/25/2012 aendgraend visited it
luzzi-reloaded visited Hochosterwitz, Kärnten, Austria 2/8/2012 luzzi-reloaded visited it

View all visits/logs