The Geology of Landscapes: Times, rhythms, palimpsests of the Rhenish crater

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The Rhenish crater is one of Europe’s largest and deepest open-cast coal mines. Humans have transformed the landscape to the point of giving life to a new geological era. The mine is the symbol of humanity’s power over territorial, environmental, and climatic transformations at impressive levels of scale and scope.
This contribution sums up five different times of the Hambach mine landscape, with its rhythms and palimpsests: deep geological time, historical time, the rapid anthropogenic time of excavation, the present time of transition towards new forms of energy, and finally, future time with the conversion of the crater into a lake.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationREL22 Reinventing Energy Landscapes
EditorsSilvia Beretta, Laura Cipriani, Antonio Longo, Chiara Geroldi, Matti Wirth
Place of PublicationAachen
PublisherRWTH Aachen University
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)978-3-00-074561-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • landscape geology
  • water and soil
  • Hambach mine
  • reclamation
  • palimpsests


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