Succession consisting of evaporites and carbonates with some thin intercalations of claystone. The evaporites consist of anhydrite, rock salt and minor amounts of bitter salts, and are locally strongly affected by halokinetic movements. Towards the southern edge of the Southern Permian Basin, siliciclastics gradually replace the evaporites and, to a lesser degree, the carbonates.
Deposition of the Zechstein Group took place in a peri-marine to marine setting. During deposition of the Zechstein Group the basin became increasingly shallow. In the Z1 (Werra) and Z2 (Stassfurt) Formations the depositional setting varied from a lagoon to sabkha/mudflat at the margins of the basin, to deep marine in the centre of the basin. The clastics in the western offshore were deposited in an estuarine setting. The topography of the Southern Permian Basin was filled-in for the greater part by Z2 Salt. The Z3 (Leine) Formation was probably deposited in a shallow marine-environment. The higher cycles show decreasing marine influence in the basin; no carbonates are present and the claystone/halite alternations are more typical of a playa lake depositional setting. Minor extensional fault movements occurred during the lower (Z1) and upper Zechstein (Geluk, 1999; 2005; Geluk et al., 1997).
Taken at the base of the Coppershale Member in the Southern Permian Basin. This boundary has been chosen despite the fact that the uppermost part of the Upper Rotliegend Group may in part be genetically related to the initial Zechstein transgression (reworked sandstones and conglomerates). In the platform area in the southern Netherlands, younger strata of the Zechstein Group onlap the sediments of the Upper Rotliegend Group (e.g. Buurmalsen-1, Everdingen-1, Nederweert-1).
Placed at the base of the Lower Germanic Trias Group, which forms a well-recognisable marker on wire line logs. It marks a minor hiatus, reflecting the transition from the laterally variable nature of the Zechstein deposits into the regionally well-correlatable Lower Triassic sediments. Where erosion or halokinesis occurred, much younger units may overlie the Zechstein Group.