Main Buntsandstein Subgroup

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

Alternating succession of often anhydritic, grey to reddish-brown sandstones and silty claystones, containing occasionally some intercalated oolitic limestone beds.

Depositional setting

Fluvial influence repeatedly extended far into the basin, alternating with intermittent rises in water-level in the basin. Wind-blown deposits occur locally.

Definition of lower boundary

Placed at the base of the lowermost thick sandstone bed.

Definition of upper boundary

As a result of differential erosion below the Hardegsen Unconformity, each formation of the Main Buntsandstein Subgroup may be unconformably overlain by the Solling Formation. Along the basin margin, where sandy sediments prevail, it may be difficult to distinguish the boundaries between the formations in the Main Buntsandstein Subgroup, and to discern the base of the overlying Solling Formation. This is particularly true for well sections that are studied in isolation. ln such cases it is possible to lump the formations (Volpriehausen, Detfurth and Hardegsen) together with the Basal Solling Sandstone Member into the informal middle Bunter sandstone (RBBM).

Thickness indication
Up to 490 m in K15-FB-108.
Geographical distribution
Regional correlation
UK: Bunter Sandstone Formation; GER: Middle Buntsandstein Group; BEL: Main Buntsandstein Formation.
Depth (thickness) AH:
2736 - 2898 m (162 m)
Depth (thickness) AH:
3970 - 4205 m (235 m)
Depth (thickness) AH:
1387 - 1576 m (189 m)
Depth (thickness) AH:
2535 - 2728 m (193 m)
Origin of name
Derived from the German lithostratigraphic term ‘Buntsandstein’ for the Lower Triassic red beds. In Germany, the main sandy development occurred in the 'Mittlerer Buntsandstein'.
Previous name(s)
Main Buntsandstein Formation (NAM & RGD 1980).
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]). Main Buntsandstein Subgroup. In: Stratigraphic Nomenclature of the Netherlands, TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands. Accessed on [DATE] from