Die Rekonstruktion der Paläotopographie des Aachener Kessels

Pröschel, Bernhard; Lehmkuhl, Frank (Thesis advisor); Gerlach, Renate (Thesis advisor)

Aachen (2019, 2020)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2019


The main objective of this thesis is to reconstruct the pre-Roman topography under the city of Aachen. Aachen has a 2000-year settlement history, and enormous amounts of anthropogenic deposits have accumulated during this time; these deposits are thus also visualized. The key data used are archeological excavation records and geological drilling documents that contain elevation and spatial data, and the Kriging algorithm was used to interpolate these data to produce high-resolution raster datasets showing both, the paleotopography and thickness of anthropogenic deposits. The paleo-DEM was then employed to reconstruct the course of former streams running through the study area. By using the archeological data, it was possible to break down the deposits to individual layers representing certain periods. This resulted in a multistratified elevation model of the historic city center. Subsequently the study area was extended to the entire Aachen Basin. For this enlarged area, again the paleotopography and the anthropogenic deposits were created. With these elevation models and by digitizing historic topographical maps, the topography and deposits of the 19th century could be reconstructed. Validation of the interpolated surface was conducted by comparing it with depth data that had not been integrated in the modeling. The evaluation showed the accuracy of the interpolations and therefore the best use of the methods applied. The example of the “Aachen flood” showed how the applied methods and the results do extend the knowledge of the settlement history of an urban area.