Ville Formation

Formal (Van Adrichem Boogaert & Kouwe 1997). Amended (Westerhoff & Weerts 2003).
Lithological description

Brown to black lignite, clayey, with local intercalations of sand or fine gravel (Neurath Sand Member), commonly leached and locally altered into silcrete (Nivelstein Sandstone). Locally, beds of rounded flint. The single Main Seam is split up laterally into three major coal seams, from bottom to top the Morken Seam, Frimmersdorf Seam and Garzweiler Seam.

Depositional setting

Coastal lowland, including freshwater marsh and swamp (lignite), bay, lacustrine and lagoonal (detrital organics and clastics), and beach and littoral (mainly sand). Main shifts between wetland and clastic settings were influenced by marine ingressions and regressions.

Definition of lower boundary

Sharp contact with non-marine sand and clay, formed in the transition zone from water to land (German Köln Formation), with shallow-marine and coastal sand and clay (Veldhoven Formation), and with deltaic and shallow-marine glauconitic or leached sand (Kakert, Heksenberg and Vrijherenberg members, Breda Formation). Farther west, gradual or diffuse, conformable boundaries with partly intercalated shallow-marine glauconitic sand (Breda Formation).

Definition of upper boundary

Top of pure lignite may be marked by burrows of marine organisms. Sharp, unconformably contact with fluvial sand (Inden Formation), deltaic and shallow-marine glauconitic or leached sand (Kakert, Heksenberg and Vrijherenberg members, Breda Formation) or various younger units.

Thickness indication
In the Netherlands up to several tens of meters, much thicker in Germany.
Geographical distribution
Transition into interfingering greenish grey, glauconitic, shallow-marine sand (Breda Formation).
Regional correlation
North Sea: not present; UK: not present; GER: Ville Formation; BEL: Bolderberg Formation (part).
early Miocene - middle Miocene.
Ville (west of Cologne in Germany)
Depth (thickness) AH:
Not available.
Depth (thickness) AH:
394 - 411 m (17 m) and 440.50 - 475.50 m (35 m)
Origin of name
Named after the Ville upland area, west of Cologne (Germany).
Previous name(s)
Hauptfloz, Main Seam (Hager 1968, 1981), Bruinkool Formation.
Reviewed by (date)
Dirk Munsterman (2018), Sytze van Heteren (2019).
Hager, H. 1968. Zur Gleichstellung und Genese der Flöze im rheinischer Braunkohlenrevier. Fortschritte in der Geologie von Rheinland und Westfalen 16, 73-84.
Hager, H. 1981. Das Tertiär des rheinischen Braunkohlenreviers. Ergibnisse und Probleme. Fortschritte in der Geologie von Rheinland und Westfalen 29, 529-563.
Van Adrichem Boogaert, H.A. & Kouwe, W.F.P. 1997. Stratigraphic nomenclature of The Netherlands, revision and update by RGD and NOGEPA, Section I, Tertiary. Mededelingen Rijks Geologische Dienst, 50, 1-39.
Westerhoff, W.E., Weerts, H.J.T. 2003. Beschrijving lithostratigrafische eenheid. Nederlands Instituut voor Toegepaste Geowetenschappen TNO. Utrecht.
Zagwijn, W.H. and Hager, H. 1987. Correlations of continental and marine Neogene deposits in the south-eastern Netherlands and the Lower Rhine District - Mededelingen van de werkgroep voor tertiaire en kwartaire geologie 24, 59-78.
Cite as
TNO-GDN ([YEAR]). Ville Formation. In: Stratigraphic Nomenclature of the Netherlands, TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands. Accessed on [DATE] from