Muschelkalk Formation

Formal (NAM & RGD 1980). Amended (Van Adrichem Boogaert & Kouwe 1994).
Lithological description

Grey and variegated marls, argillaceous dolomites and limestones, anhydritic claystones, anhydrite and rock salt.

Depositional setting

Shallow-marine to open-marine basin rimmed by carbonate platforms, where a short period of restricted conditions resulted in evaporite deposition.

Definition of lower boundary

Placed at the base of the first distinct limestone or dolomite bed.

Definition of upper boundary

Placed at the base of the lowermost claystone bed of the Keuper Formation, which is marked by a sharp decrease in acoustic velocity. In the eastern onshore the formation may be unconformably overlain by the Sleen Formation of the Altena Group. In the West Netherlands Basin the uppermost part of the Keuper Formation may rest unconformably on the Muschelkalk Formation.

Thickness indication
Up to 250 m thick in the Broad Fourteens Basin.
Geographical distribution
Regional correlation
UK: Dowsing Formation; GER: Muschelkalk Formation; BEL: Muschelkalk Formation.
Anisian - early Ladinian.
Depth (thickness) AH:
1376 - 1601 m (225 m)
Depth (thickness) AH:
3368 - 3650 m (282 m)
Depth (thickness) AH:
1656 - 1870 m (214 m)
Origin of name
Name derived from the German stratigraphic nomenclature, where it is applied to the middle, predominantly marine, part of the German Triassic.
Previous name(s)
Reviewed by (date)
Johan ten Veen (2017).
NAM & RGD 1980. Stratigraphic nomenclature of The Netherlands. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Nederlands Geologisch Mijnbouwkundig Genootschap 32, 77 p.
Van Adrichem Boogaert, H.A. & Kouwe, W.F.P. 1994. Stratigraphic nomenclature of The Netherlands; revision and update by RGD and NOGEPA, Section E, Triassic. Mededelingen Rijks Geologische Dienst, 50, 1-28.
Cite as
TNO-GDN ([YEAR]). Muschelkalk Formation. In: Stratigraphic Nomenclature of the Netherlands, TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands. Accessed on [DATE] from