Hohenloher Ebene

Bauland - Schrozberger Schild

Besides the Upper Jurassic of the RegionSchwäbische Alb (Swabian Jura) and the RegionFränkische Alb (Frankian Jura), the Muschelkalk is the main karstified bedrock in Germany. The Hohenlohe Plain is the largest German Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic) karst area. It actually still belongs to the RegionSüddeutsche Schichtstufenlandschaft (South German Scarplands). However, the Muschelkalk does not form a large plateau like the Upper Jurassic of the Swabian Jura. Rather, it is intersected by a large number of rivers, resulting in the formation of many individual plateaus, which can be clearly distinguished both geographically and hydrologically. The rivers serve as KarstStream Channel during cave development, so that the cave levels are located at the former levels of the Kocher, Jagst, Tauber and Bühler rivers.

In much of the area, the Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic) is covered by a relatively thin layer of Keuper (Upper Triassic) sandstone (10-30 m thick). This does not interfere with karstification if the water can penetrate the cover layer at fractures and still reach the karstified rock. However, this naturally creates difficulties for exploration, since the caves are hidden under the Keuper sandstone, so to speak.

In the Muschelkalk, considerable progress has been made in recent years. The first large Muschelkalk cave to be discovered was the ShowcaveEberstadter Tropfsteinhöhle. In the meantime, however, several other extraordinarily large cave systems have been discovered, especially in the Schrozberger Schild plateau, west of Rothenburg o.d. Tauber. The Fuchslabyrinth has meanwhile been surveyed to 10 km, but has not yet been fully explored. Thus, for a time, it was even the longest cave in Germany, replacing the Salzgrabenhöhle in the Alps at that time.