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Rotliegendes

Term for a reddish coloured rock that was formed in the Rotliegend period of the Earth's history. The striking red colour is caused by finely distributed hematite flakes (red ironstone). Rotliegendes is an old miner's term and refers to the red rocks deposited beneath the exploitable copper shale. It was therefore originally called "red dead bedrock". The soil is formed from calcareous claystones, siltstones and sandstones. It has only limited water storage capacity, but has good aeration. Rooting of the deeper rock is difficult. The term is particularly common in the German wine-growing regions of Pfalz and Rheinhessen as well as Nahe for the vineyard soils found there. These occur in the form of red slate especially in the "Red Slope" within the area known as the Rhine Front. Another type of soil containing iron is called terra rossa.

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