Upper Rhine Plain: Difference between revisions

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clean up, replaced: colour coding → colour-coding using AWB (8564)
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[[File:Oberrheinische Tiefebene 2006-09 Pfalz.jpg|thumb|center|700px|The Upper Rhine Plain, view from west to east. Front: a vineyard near [[Neustadt an der Weinstraße]], background: [[Mannheim]] (right: Mannheim Power Station, far north: the [[Odenwald]]]]
 
The '''Upper Rhine Plain''',<ref>{{Dickinson's Germany}}</ref> '''Rhine Rift Valley'''<ref>{{subst:Elkins' Germany}}</ref> or '''Upper Rhine Graben'''<ref name="Dèzes">{{cite journal|last=Dèzes|first=P.|coauthors=Schmid S.M. & Ziegler P.A.|year=2004|title=Evolution of the European Cenozoic Rift System: interaction of the Alpine and Pyrenean orogens with their foreland lithosphere|journal=[[Tectonophysics (journal)|Tectonophysics]]|volume=389|pages=1–33|doi=10.1016/j.tecto.2004.06.011|url=http://pages.unibas.ch/earth/tecto/research/dezes_ziegler.pdf|accessdate=June 3, 2010|bibcode = 2004Tectp.389....1D }}</ref> (German: ''Oberrheinische Tiefebene'' or ''Oberrheingraben'', French: ''Vallée du Rhin'') is a major [[rift]], about 350 &nbsp;km long and on average 50 &nbsp;km wide, between the cities of [[Frankfurt]]/[[Wiesbaden]] in the north and [[Basel]] in the south. Its southern section straddles the border between [[France]] and [[Germany]]. It forms part of the [[European Cenozoic Rift System]], which extends across central Europe. The Upper Rhine Graben formed during the [[Oligocene]] as a response to the evolution of the [[Alps]] to the south and remains active to the present day. Today, the Rhine Rift Valley forms a downfaulted trough through which the [[River Rhine]] flows.
 
==Formation==
The northern section of the Rhine Plain is equally framed by somewhat lower mountain ranges, the [[Palatinate Forest]] on the western and the [[Odenwald]] on the eastern side.
 
[[File:Rhine rift.png|thumb|250px|right|Rhine Graben (blue shades) between Basel and Frankfurt with adjoining mountain ranges (green to brown); colour -coding according to digital elevation model]]
 
==Volcanic activity==
The extension induced by the formation of the Alps was sufficient to thin the crust and provide suitable dilational conduits for magmatic and volcanic activity to occur. This resulted in the emplacement of [[mafic]] [[Dike (geology)|dykes]], which follow the general structural trend of the extensional faults. In addition, isolated volcanoes such as the Kaiserstuhl were formed.