Känozoische tektonische Entwicklung Sachsen
Projekt
Junge (känozoische) tektonische Entwicklung der
Kristallingebiete in Sachsen
Anlage 1
Recent tectonics in the Eger rift (Saxony and NW Czech Republic): Insights from
geomorphic indices (L. Andreani, K. Stanek, R. Gloaguen)
Inhaltsverzeichnis
Anlage 1.1.:
Textteil: Recent tectonics in the Eger rift (Saxony and NW Czech
Republic): Insights from geomorphic indices
Anlage 1.2.:
Hypsometrische Karte Sachsens (1:400.000)
Anlage 1.3.:
Karte der Oberflächenrauigkeit (1:400.000)
Anlage 1.4.:
Karte des topographischen Positionsindex (1:400.000)
Anlage 1.5.:
Karte des Oberflächen-Index (1:400.000)
Anlage 1.6.:
Karte des Neigungsindex aus Flussprofilen (1:400.000)
Anlage 1.7.:
Karte des Neigungsindex (1:400.000)

image
image
 
Recent tectonics in the Eger rift (Saxony and NW Czech
Republic): Insights from geomorphic indices
L. ANDREANI
a,1,2
, K. STANEK
1
AND R. GLOAGUEN
1,2
(1)
Institute of Geology, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, B. von-Cotta-Str. 2, 09599, Freiberg, Germany.
(2)
Remote Sensing Group, Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology,
Halsbrueckerstr. 34, 09599, Freiberg, Germany.
Abstract
We analyse in this report the response of landscapes to recent tectonic events along the Eger rift.
The Eger rift is located in the northern part of the Bohemian Massif. The main rifting event began at
the end of the Eocene and lasted until the early Miocene. The post-rift evolution of the Eger Graben is
associated to a NW- to NNW-trending compression which mainly resulted in the uplift of the Erzgebirge
mountains. We analysed both topographic surfaces and drainage networks by using topographic profiles
and geomorphic indices. Our results show that in spite of low deformation rates the areas located around
the Bohemian Massif are suitable for a morphotectonic analysis. The topography of Saxony and NW
Czech Republic appears to be geomorphically young. Topographic profiles and geomorphic maps show
that large portions of the landscape consist in relatively well preserved surfaces which may represent
relicts of the Paleogene "etchplain". These surfaces are associated to well defined relict base-levels in river
profiles. Geomorphic indices also suggest a close relationship between main structures and landscapes.
The Eger rift basins are well defined in our geomorphic maps. The Erzgebirge block is mainly tilted
along the Krušné Hory fault. Our results show that it is divided in three main compartments (Eibenstock,
Marienberg and Mittelsachsen) by NW-trending lineaments (Mariánské-Lázne,
˘
Gera-Jáchymov, Flöha,
Elbe lineaments). Alongstrike changes in incisions suggest that the uplift was initiated along the western
compartment and then propagated toward the east. Others areas consist mainly in tilted panels and plateaus
with different elevations. The most recent event observed in river profiles is mainly associated to a 100 to
150m base-level drop along the Elbe valley. This event can be correlated with the Pleistocene Elbe terrace
sequence.
a
Corresponding author e-mail: andreani.louis@gmail.com
1
Känozoische tektonische Entwicklung Sachsen Anlage 1.1

CONTENTS
ABSTRACT
1
CONTENTS
2
LIST OF FIGURES
2
1. INTRODUCTION
4
2. TECTONIC SETTING
5
3. METHODS AND TOOLS
7
3.1. Surface analyses
7
3.1.1. Geomorphic indices
7
3.1.2. Classification of landscapes according to their erosional stage
7
3.2. Swath profiles
9
3.3. River networks and longitudinal profiles
9
3.4. Extraction and analysis of geomorphic indices
10
4. RESULTS
11
4.1. Topographic profiles
11
4.1.1. Eger graben and Erzgebirge mountains
11
4.1.2. Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system and Elbe valley
15
4.1.3. Ceská
ˇ
Lípa plateau and Lusatian Highlands
17
4.2. Morphometric maps and analysis of surfaces
17
4.2.1. Topographic position index
17
4.2.2. Hypsometry
18
4.2.3. Surface roughness
20
4.2.4. Surface index
21
4.3. Analysis of the drainage network
23
4.3.1. Isobases from rivers
23
4.3.2. Steepness index
24
4.3.3. River longitudinal profiles
25
5. DISCUSSION
29
6. CONCLUSIONS
32
REFERENCES
33
APPENDIX I. LONGITUDINAL PROFILES FOR THE TRIBUTARIES OF THE ELBE
37
APPENDIX II. LONGITUDINAL PROFILES FOR RIVERS IN THE ERZGEBIRGE RANGE
51
LIST OF FIGURES
Fig. 1
Simplified geological map of the Bohemian Massif and surrounding areas
6
Fig. 2
Surface geomorphic indices
8
Fig. 3
River profile analysis
9
Fig. 4
Locations of regional swath topographic profiles
12
Fig. 5
Topographic swath profiles along the Erzgebirge-Eger graben system
13
Fig. 6
Topographic swath profiles across the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault and Elbe Valley
14
Fig. 7
Swath profile across the Elbe valley (east of Pirna)
15
Fig. 8
Topographic swath profiles across the Lusatian region
16
Fig. 9
Topographic position index
18
Fig. 10
Hypsometric integral
19
Fig. 11
Surface roughness
21
2

Fig. 12
Surface index
22
Fig. 13
Isobases from rivers
23
Fig. 14
Interpolated map of steepness indices from rivers
24
Fig. 15
Interpreted relict base-levels in the Elbe valley and Erzgebirge
27
Fig. 16
Interpretative structural diagram of the Eger rift and Erzgebirge range
29
Fig. 17
Elevations of main surfaces in Saxony and NW Czech Republic
30
Fig. 1.1
Locations of analysed streams and rivers
38
Fig. 1.2
Longitudinal profile of the Kirnitzsch river
39
Fig. 1.3
Longitudinal profile of the Sebnitz river
40
Fig. 1.4
Longitudinal profile of the Polenz river
41
Fig. 1.5
Longitudinal profile of the Wesenitz river
42
Fig. 1.6
Longitudinal profile of the Friedrichsgrundbach stream
43
Fig. 1.7
Longitudinal profile of the Prießnitz river
44
Fig. 1.8
Longitudinal profile of the Biela river
45
Fig. 1.9
Longitudinal profile of the Struppenbach stream
46
Fig. 1.10 Longitudinal profile of the Bahra-Gottleuba river
47
Fig. 1.11 Longitudinal profile of the Weißeritz river
48
Fig. 1.12 Longitudinal profile of the Triebisch river
49
Fig. 1.13 Longitudinal profile of the Ketzerbach river
50
Fig. 2.1
Longitudinal profile of the Freiberger Mulde river
52
Fig. 2.2
Longitudinal profile of the Große Striegis river
53
Fig. 2.3
Longitudinal profile of the Flöha river
54
Fig. 2.4
Longitudinal profile of the Schwarze Pockau river
55
Fig. 2.5
Longitudinal profile of the Jöhstädter Schwarzwasser river
56
Fig. 2.6
Longitudinal profile of the Zschopau river
57
Fig. 2.7
Longitudinal profile of the Große Lößnitz river
58
Fig. 2.8
Longitudinal profile of the Zwönitz river
59
Fig. 2.9
Longitudinal profile of the Würschnitz river
60
Fig. 2.10 Longitudinal profile of the Schwarzwasser river
61
Fig. 2.11 Longitudinal profile of the Zwickauer Mulde river
62
Fig. 2.12 Longitudinal profile of the Pleiße river
63
Fig. 2.13 Longitudinal profile of the Göltzsch river
64
Fig. 2.14 Longitudinal profile of the Weiße Elster river
65
3

1.
Introduction
The Eger Graben is the easternmost part of the European Cenozoic Rift System (ECRIS) which
transects all Variscan Massifs in the foreland of the Alps (e.g., Dèzes et al., 2004; Ziegler & Dèzes, 2007).
The Eger Graben is a subject of intense research and controversy regarding the causes and mechanisms of
extension as well as post-rift deformation (e.g., Rajchl et al., 2009; Cajz & Valecka
ˇ
, 2010). The onset of
extension in the Eger graben is associated with the latest Eocene main volcanic pulse in NW Bohemian
Massif (e.g., Cajz et al., 1999; Ulrych et al., 1999). Magnetostratigraphic and palaeobotanical data
suggest that the syn-rift deposition in Eger rift basins ended during early Miocene (Teodoridis & Kvacek
ˇ
,
2006). The post-rift evolution of the Eger Graben is commonly associated to a NW- to NNW-trending
compression (Müller et al., 1997; Jarosinski, 2006) which mainly resulted in the uplift and erosion of its
northwestern rim (Erzgebirge mountains) during the Plio-Quaternary (Ziegler & Dèzes, 2007).
Present-day tectonic rates are low in Central Europe (< 2 mm/yr, Grenerczy et al., 2005). However,
earthquake swarms (e.g. Fischer & Horálek, 2005; Babuška et al., 2007), CO
2
-emanation (Bräuer et al.,
2003; Weinlich et al., 2003) and geological studies (e.g. Peterek et al., 2011) provide evidences for active
magmatism and ongoing tectonic activity along NW part of the Bohemian Massif. From a geomorphic
point of view the Plio-Quaternary uplift of the Bohemian Massif resulted in the increase of incision
rates for main rivers and thus in the entrenchment of the drainage network. Available data about terraces
indicate for example 180 m of incision since the late Pliocene (3.5 Ma) for the Eger river and 160 m of
incision during the last 1.9 Ma for the Vltava river (Westaway, 2002; Tyrácek
ˇ
et al., 2004).
We propose here to analyze the landscapes of the Eger rift and surrounding regions and their response
to tectonics by using a set of geomorphic indices. Landscapes affected by recent or active tectonics result
from a competition between vertical uplift and erosional processes (e.g., Snyder et al., 2000; Burbank
& Anderson, 2001). In tectonically active areas, erosion processes are enhanced as drainage networks
respond to base-level changes (e.g., Mather, 2000; Mather et al., 2000). Geomorphic indices are commonly
used to detect landscapes responses to recent deformation processes (e.g., Keller & Pinter, 1996; Burbank
& Anderson, 2001, and references therein). In addition geomorphic indices can be obtained easily. During
the last years the Remote Sensing Group in TU Bergakademie Freiberg focused on the development
of new remote sensing tools in order to extract geomorphic indices and quantify regional deformation.
The main contribution of our group is the development of TecDEM, a MATLAB-based software able to
extract from digital elevation models and analyze the most commonly used geomorphic indices (Shahzad
& Gloaguen, 2011a,b).
We analyse in this report both topographic surfaces and drainage networks. While surface analyses
(e.g., hypsometry, incision and surface roughness) are commonly used to classify landscapes between
different erosional (and thus evolutionary) stages (e.g., Strahler, 1952; Schumm, 1956; Ohmori, 1993;
Grohmann, 2004; Grohmann et al., 2007; Pérez-Peña et al., 2009), river profile analyses proved to be
useful in detecting active structures, delineating spatial patterns in rock uplift rates and, in some cases,
estimating the amount of uplift or incision for different segments of a river (e.g., Hack, 1973; Wobus et al.,
2006; Kirby & Whipple, 2012). A major concern in geomorphic studies is that in slowly deformed areas
erosion processes may suppress the effects of active tectonics on present-day topography, thus questioning
the suitability of geomorphic indices to characterize recent and active tectonics. For this reason only a
few works were done in intra-plate settings or in areas with low deformation rates (e.g., Pedrera et al.,
4

2009; Font et al., 2010). However, our results show that the areas located around the Bohemian Massif are
suitable for a morphotectonic analysis. Geomorphic indices suggest a tight relationship between main
tectonic features and landscapes and provide new insights into the evolution of the northern Bohemian
Massif.
2.
Tectonic setting
The Bohemian Massif (Fig. 1) is located in Central Europe. It covers Czech Republic, eastern Germany,
southern Poland and northern Austria. Its central part forms a rhombus shaped plateau limited by four
major ranges: the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge in german or Krušné Hory in czech) in the northwest, the
Sudetes (which are themselves divided in several ranges such as the Jizera, Krkonoše and Hrubý Jeseník
mountains) in the northeast, the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands in the southeast, and the Bohemian Forest
in the southwest. The massif also encompasses a number of "mittelgebirges" and mainly consists of
crystalline rocks deformed during the Variscan Orogeny.
The studied area is located along the Eger graben and corresponds to the easternmost part of the
European Cenozoic Rift System (ECRIS) which transect all Variscan Massifs in the foreland of the Alps
(Ziegler, 1992; Dèzes et al., 2004; Ziegler & Dèzes, 2007). The rifting started during the Eocene in the
foreland of the Alps in response to collision-related intraplate stresses. During Oligocene and Neogene
times the ECRIS evolved by passive rifting under changing stress fields, reflecting the increasing coupling
of the Alpine Orogen with its foreland. The ECRIS is presently still active, as evidenced by its seismicity
and geodetic data (Ziegler & Dèzes, 2007).
The main volcanic pulse occurred between the early Oligocene and early Miocene (Adamovic
& Coubal, 1999; Ulrych et al., 1999) in the Eger volcano-tectonic zone, prior to a subsidence phase
(Malkovský, 1987). Volcanic activity decreased during the middle Miocene (16 to 12 Ma) and intensified
again during the late Miocene and Pliocene (11.4 to 3.95 Ma). It locally lasted until 0.11 Ma (Adamovic &
Coubal, 1999; Ulrych et al., 1999). During the Burdigalian a N- to NW-trending drainage system developed
in the Bohemian Massif area and up to 500 m of lacustrine and fluvial clastic deposits accumulated in
the Eger depression during an extensional period (Malkovský, 1975, 1979). During the early Langhian
(15 to 16 Ma) temporary marine incursions advanced northward along river valleys into the southern and
eastern parts of the Bohemian Massif (Malkovský, 1979; Suk, 1984). The middle Miocene to present
evolution of the Bohemian Massif is marked by a compressional reactivation of pre-existing fracture zones
which produced a disruption of the initially flat landscape. This event resulted in the uplift of the marginal
Thüringer Wald (Thuringian Forest), Böhmischer Wald (Bohemian Forest), Erzgebirge, Sudetic and
Moravo–Silesian blocks. According to Suk (1984), uplifted remnants of early Langhian marine deposits
are now found at 600 m above the present-day sea level in the southern parts of the Bohemian Massif.
The Plio-Quaternary uplift of the Bohemian Massif and surrounding areas is associated to a mainly
NW- to NNW-trending compression (Müller et al., 1997; Jarosinski, 2006). Earthquake swarms (e.g.
Fischer & Horálek, 2005; Babuška et al., 2007), CO
2
-emanation (Bräuer et al., 2003) and geological
studies (e.g. Peterek et al., 2011) provide evidences for active magmatism and ongoing tectonic activity
along NW part of the Bohemian Massif. Leveling data indicate that the NW parts of the Bohemian Massif
are being uplifted while the Cretaceous Basin located in the eastern part of the Bohemian Massif appears
to gently subside (Frischbutter & Schwab, 1995). GPS data also indicate a differential horizontal motion
5

image
Fig. 1 – Simplified geological map of the Bohemian Massif and surrounding areas (modified from Pawlewicz et al., 1997). Main structures: CBSZ - Central Bohemian Shear Zone, DBF -
Diendorf-Boskovice fault, DFZ - Danube fault zone, EFZ - Elbe fault zone, ELFS - Elbe-Lužice fault system, FFZ - Franconian fault zone, JFZ - Jáchymov fault zone, KHF - Krušné hory fault,
LFZ - Lauzitzer fault zone, LuF - Lusatian fault, MLF, Mariánské-Lázne
ˇ
fault, PFZ - Pfahl fault zone, RKBF - Rodl-Kaplice-Blanice fault system, SFZ - Sázava fault zone, SMF - Sudetic marginal
fault, VPFZ - Vitis-Pribysla
ˇ
v fault zone, ZHFZ - Železné Hory fault zone. Bold letters indicate main cities: Ba - Bratislava, Br - Brno, By - Bayreuth, D - Dresden, J - Jena, Lb - Liberec, Lz - Linz,
M - Munich, N - Nuremberg, Pg - Prag, Pz - Plzen,
ˇ
S - Salzburg, V - Vienna, W - Wrocław.
6

of a few mm/y between the Sudetic and Moravo-Silesian blocks (Schenk et al., 2000). From a geomorphic
point of view the Plio-Quaternary uplift of the Bohemian Massif resulted in the increase of incision
rates for main rivers and thus in the entrenchment of the drainage network. Available data about terraces
indicate for example 180 m of incision since the late Pliocene (3.5 Ma) for the Eger river and 160 m of
incision during the last 1.9 Ma for the Vltava river (Westaway, 2002; Tyrácek
ˇ
et al., 2004).
3.
Methods and tools
3.1. Surface analyses
3.1.1. Geomorphic indices
Surface analyses of landforms are commonly used to differentiate between different erosional and thus
evolutionary stages (e.g., Strahler, 1952; Ohmori, 1993) or in tectonic geomorphology (e.g., Pérez-Peña
et al., 2009). Hypsometric integral (HI, Fig. 2) shows the distribution of landmass volume remaining
beneath or above a basal reference plane (e.g., Strahler, 1952; Pike & Wilson, 1971; Schumm, 1956). Pike
& Wilson (1971) show that the hypsometric integral can also be calculated using this simple formula:
HI =
h
mean
h
min
h
max
h
min
(1)
with h
mean
, h
min
and h
max
being the mean, minimum and maximum elevations of the analyzed area.
The surface roughness (SR, Fig. 2) is given by:
SR =
TS
FS
(2)
with T S and F S being the areas of the analyzed topographic surface and the corresponding flat and
horizontal surface (Grohmann, 2004; Grohmann et al., 2007). The ratio value is close to 1 for flat areas
and increases rapidly as the real surface becomes irregular.
The topographic position index (TPI, Weiss, 2001; Jenness, 2006) compares the elevation of each
cell in a digital elevation model to the mean elevation of a specified neighborhood around that cell. It is
calculated using the following formula:
TPI = h−h
mean
(3)
with h and h
mean
being the elevation of the cell and the mean elevation of neighboring cells. The TPI
provides a simple method to classify landscapes between ridges (positive values) and valleys (negative
values). TPI values near zero correspond either to flat areas (where the slope is near zero) or to areas with
constant slope (where the slope of the point is significantly greater than zero). TPI values also reflect the
degree of incision by the drainage network. For instance, gentle and rounded hills will show moderate TPI
values while cliffs and canyons will display extreme values.
3.1.2. Classification of landscapes according to their erosional stage
Steady-state topography is marked by low-amplitude reliefs and surfaces related to a defined base-level.
Topographic uplift or drop in sea level result in a change of this base-level and in the progressive erosion
of the former steady-state topography through time. Hypsometric integral (HI) and surface roughness
(SR) can be used to differentiate between erosional (and thus evolutionary) stages (Fig. 2). Landscapes
7

image
Fig. 2 – Surface indices. (A) Calculation of the hypsometric integral (HI) and surface roughness (SR) indices within a moving
window. (B) Evolution of hypsometric integral and surface roughness during the uplift and erosion of an initially flat surface. HI
increases rapidly after the uplift started and then decreases as the uplifted surface is eroded. The peak of SR is associated to the
latest stage of the uplift, when the paleo-surface is eroded.
affected by recent base-level drop are characterized by high hypsometry and low surface roughness
because recently uplifted surfaces are largely preserved and, in the case of tectonic activity, fault scarps
are poorly eroded (e.g., Strahler, 1952; Delcaillau et al., 1998; Pérez-Peña et al., 2009; Cheng et al., 2012).
In older landscapes these surfaces are almost completely eroded by the drainage network, resulting thus in
the gradual increase of the surface roughness and decrease of hypsometric integral.
We propose a new index (referred hereafter as “Surface Index”, SI) which combine the hypsometric
integral, the surface roughness and the elevation. Our aim is to reveal on the same map peak values of
hypsometry and surface roughness and to relate them to the intensity of the base-level change. Surface
roughness values are strongly correlated to the differences in elevation and thus to the intensity of the
initial base-level drop. It is not the case for hypsometric integral which mainly depends on the repartition
of landmasses (i.e. two landscapes with the same shape but with different elevations will have the same
hypsometric integral). In order to relate hypsometry to the elevations we converted both datasets to ratios
and multiplied the hypsometry by the elevation.
Then, we subtracted the ratios of the surface
roughness from the resulting values
according to the following formula:
SI =
HI
HI
min
HI
max
HI
min
×
h
h
min
h
max
h
min
SR
SR
min
SR
max
SR
min
(4)
HI, h and SR represent the values of hypsometry, elevation and surface roughness for the considered
pixel while "max" and "min" represent the corresponding maximum and minimum values for the whole
area. SI values around 0 correspond mainly to areas with low elevations or to flat areas characterized by
low HI and SR values. Values between 0 and +1 correspond to preserved (i.e. poorly eroded) surfaces
associated to a recent event (uplift or base-level drop). Increase of values is related to the increase in
the elevation of these surfaces and thus to the intensity of the event. Negative values (between -1 and 0)
8

image
Fig. 3 – River profile analysis. (A) Calculation of the normalized steepness index for a schematic river profile and corresponding
drainage area. Slope of log(Slope) vs. log(Area) scaling is the concavity index θ; y-intercept is the steepness index k
s
. In this
example the normalized steepness index k
sn
is calculated using a reference concavity of 0,45. (B) Schematic river profiles
corresponding to an initial steady-state (stage 1), recent uplift along a fault (stage 2, the profile displays a marked knickpoint and
its uppermost segment is still preserved and shows low k
sn
values), continued uplift through time along the same fault (stage 3,
the whole profile above the fault is equilibrated with respect to uplift and erosion rates and displays high k
sn
values) and end of
the fault activity (stage 4, the river profile progressively evolves toward stage 1).
are associated to eroded topography. They are related to the amount of incision by the drainage network
and reflect both the age and the intensity of the base-level change. Values close to -1 indicate recent or
high-amplitude events while negative values close to 0 reflect either low-amplitude events or older and
strongly eroded topography.
3.2. Swath profiles
Swath topographic profiles provide a useful way to characterize the topography of orogenic belts (e.g.,
Isacks, 1992; Masek et al., 1994; Duncan et al., 2003; Ponza et al., 2010). An elongated and rectangular
patch of topography is extracted and the calculated topographic values (usually the maximum, minimum
and mean elevations) are projected onto a vertical plane parallel to the long axis of the swath rectangle.
The curve for maximum elevations provides informations on the initial topography while the curve for
minimum elevations reflect the base-level of rivers. Swath profiles provide thus a quick estimate of the
incision by the drainage network (the difference between the maximum and minimum elevations).
3.3. River networks and longitudinal profiles
The study of the drainage networks and river longitudinal profiles is a suitable approach to explore
neotectonics. As river networks are highly responsive and adapt quickly to the changes of surface slope,
they may register tectonic activity better than hillslopes (e.g., Duvall et al., 2004; Pearce et al., 2004).
Deviations from the typical concave-up shape of stream longitudinal profiles, such as knickpoints or convex
segments, indicate a disequilibrium state resulting from tectonic, base-level or lithological perturbations
9

(e.g., Kirby & Whipple, 2001; Chen et al., 2003; Troiani & Della Seta, 2008; Pedrera et al., 2009; Font
et al., 2010; Kirby & Whipple, 2012).
The normalized steepness index (k
sn
, Fig. 3) is widely used to investigate tectonically induced
perturbations in river longitudinal profiles as it shows a direct proportionality with uplift rates (e.g., Kirby
& Whipple, 2001; Wobus et al., 2006; Whittaker et al., 2008; Kirby & Whipple, 2012). Assuming a known
relationship between slope and catchment area, Hack (1957) suggested an expression for the equilibrium
state channel gradient:
S = k
s
×
A
θ
(5)
with
k
s
=
U
K
1
n
(6)
where S is the local channel slope, θ is the channel concavity, k
s
is the steepness index, A is the upstream
drainage area, U is the rock uplift rate, and K is the dimensional coefficient of erosion. As suggested
by Wobus et al. (2006), a normalized steepness index k
sn
is used, since k
s
and θ are strongly correlated.
In a logarithmic plot of slope against catchment area, the segments of a river profile can be defined
and regressed with a power-law function in order to obtain the values of k
sn
and θ (Fig. 3A; Kirby &
Whipple, 2001; Wobus et al., 2006). According to the above equation the steepness index shows a direct
proportionality with the rock uplift rate U and can be used as a relative uplift-rate value. Some streams
show a single slope-area scaling for their entire length (e.g., stage 1 in Fig. 3B); in other cases, if a
knickpoint is, for example, generated by an active fault (e.g., stages 2 and 3 in Fig. 3B), the upper part of
the longitudinal profile will be characterized by one or two concave segments with changing values of
k
sn
and θ (Wobus et al., 2006). Derived relative uplift-rate values can be plotted in maps for comparison
with the specific geologic and tectonic settings.
The spatial distribution of stream height is also a useful proxy for investigating geologic or tectonic
processes (e.g., Golts & Rosenthal, 1993; Grohmann et al., 2007, 2011). Drainage networks are commonly
organized according to Strahler (1957) stream order. According to Golts & Rosenthal (1993) streams
of similar orders are of similar geological age and are related to similar geological events. Hence the
interpolation of isobase lines, which connect streams with a similar order, produce a surface resulting
from the same erosional events. As suggested by Grohmann et al. (2007), isobase maps can be seen
as a smoothed version of the original topographic surface, from which was removed the ‘noise’ of the
1st-order streams erosion. Sharp topographic changes affecting an isobase surface may indicate structures
associated to tectonic movements or extreme lithological changes.
3.4. Extraction and analysis of geomorphic indices
Extraction and analysis of geomorphic indices were made using TecDEM, a MATLAB-based software
allowing the extraction of river networks, drainage basins and geomorphologic parameters from digital
elevation models (Shahzad & Gloaguen, 2011a,b). We used 90m resolution SRTM data from CIAT (Jarvis
et al., 2008) for regional scale analyses. We also used 30m resolution ASTER GDEM data (product of
METI and NASA) and 20m resolution DGM data (provided by the Sächsisches Landesamt für Umwelt,
Landwirtschaft und Geologie) for more local analyses. The drainage network was extracted from DEM
10

data by calculating flow directions at all points using the D8 algorithm (Fairfield & Leymarie, 1991;
Jones, 2002). Stream longitudinal profiles were identified and selected based upon least cost path analyses,
which compute paths of least down slope resistance (i.e. the downstream flow path) and Strahler orders.
This method is highly efficient, but accuracy is limited by the resolution and quality of the DEM. As the
extracted streams contain some error, smoothening algorithms are applied, depending upon the number of
nodes. Associated drainage basins were extracted using a second grid corresponding to the contributing
area for each pixel. Isobase maps were computed by interpolating the elevation of streams corresponding
to Strahler order 2 and 3. Morphometric maps for topographic position index, hypsometric integral and
surface roughness were calculated using a moving window. Issues related to the minimal size of the
moving window are well documented (e.g., Ascione et al., 2008; Guzzetti & Reichenbach, 1994). The
moving window should be large enough to include at least two major ridges and/or valleys otherwise the
results would simply represent the slope gradient (Evans, 1972). Thus, we selected a moving window of
9km for all morphometric maps.
4.
Results
4.1.
Topographic profiles
4.1.1. Eger graben and Erzgebirge mountains
NNW-trending swath profiles 1 to 3 (Fig. 4 and 5) allow to compare the along strike variations of
main tectonic and topographic features across the Eger graben and Erzgebirge range.
In each profile the Eger graben is well defined by topographic scarps. The difference in elevation
between the northern and southern rims of the graben is well marked in the east (almost 500 m in profile
3) but decreases westward (~200m in profile 1). We also observe an eastward widening of the Eger graben
from ~10km (Sokolov Basin in profile 1) to ~25km in the Most basin (profile 2) and finally ~35km in the
easternmost region (profile 3 in Fig. 5). The graben floor is heterogeneous. In profile 1 it is concave and
the Eger river is clearly entrenched as indicated by the curve of minimum topography while in profile 2 it
is flat and slightly tilted to the south. In profile 3 the graben is almost completely filled by the Böhmische
Mittelgebirge volcanic field.
The southern rim of the Eger graben consists in elevated plateaus which extend up to 50 km from
the Southern Boundary fault system and are limited to the SE by the Central Bohemian shear zone. The
flat portions of landscapes observed in each profiles (noted "KNES" in profile 1 and "RHS" in profiles 2
and 3) may represent in fact the remnants of a single regional paleosurface. The mean elevation of the
Rakovník High remains relatively constant (~300m NW of Prag to ~500m north of Plzen).
ˇ
The Kaiservald
plateau appears to be tilted along both the Southern Boundary fault system and the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault as the highest elevations (~900m) are found at the junction between the eastern rim of the Cheb
half-graben and the southern rim of the Eger graben.
The northern rim of the Eger graben consists in the Erzgebirge range which displays significant
along strike variations. In topographic profiles the Erzgebirge range appears as a block tilted toward the
north-west. The SE flank of the range is marked by a sharp topographic scarp associated to the Krušné
Hory fault in profiles 2 and 3. In profile 1 the southern flank of the Erzgebirge range is complicated by
a topographic high (referred as "Nejdek High" in Fig. 5). This topographic high may correspond to a
tectonic block which may be separated from the rest of the Erzgebirge range by a secondary fault (see the
11

image
Fig. 4 – Locations of regional swath topographic profiles (in red). Main structures: CBSZ - Central Bohemian Shear Zone,
DVC - Doupov Volcanic Complex, EFZ - Elbe fault zone, KHF - Krušné hory fault, LFZ - Lauzitzer fault zone, LuF - Lusatian
fault, MLF, Mariánské-Lázne
ˇ
fault. Red letters indicate main cities: By - Bayreuth , Zw - Zwickau , Ch - Chemnitz , Fr - Freiberg
, Dr - Dresden , Pl - Plauen , Le - Leipzig , Go - Görlitz , Ba - Bautzen , Me - Meißen , Pa - Pirna , To - Torgau , An - Annaberg ,
Je - Jena , Pz - Plzen
ˇ
, CL -
ˇ
Ceská Lípa , Pr - Praha , Mo - Most , Li - Liberec , Cb - Cheb , KV - Karlovy Vary.
inferred "Nejdek Fault" in profile 1). All profiles display a recognizable surface on top of the Erzgebirge
range (noted "UPS" in Fig. 5). The NW part of the Erzgebirge range vary strongly from East to West.
The easternmost section (profile 3 in Fig. 5) displays a gentle, slightly concave and continuous surface
extending up to 80km from the Krušné Hory fault. The connection with the Nordsachsen lowlands to the
North is barely marked. The central area (profile 2 in Fig. 5) presents a similar shape but we can define a
topographic high (Marianberg High) with distinct flat portions and higher incisions (see the difference
between maximum and minimum elevations) and a lower topography (Chemnitz-Plauen low) which
connects further north with the Nordsachsen lowlands. In
the
westernmost section (profile 1 in Fig. 5) the
NW flank of the Erzgebirge displays a more concave shape with a strongly incised topography
(Eibenstock High) and a flat topography (Chemnitz-Plauen low). The concave shape of the range is
disrupted by a flat surface with an elevation similar to the Nejdek High and Kaiservald plateau. All
these surfaces may represent in fact a single regional surface. In this profile the Chemnitz-Plauen surface
is well defined and is slightly elevated with respect to the Nordsachsen lowlands.
12

CPS
CPS
Eger
graben
Kaiserwald plateau
Leipzig-Nordsachsen
Western Erzgebirge block
lowlands
Eibenstock High
Chemnitz-Plauen Low
Sokolov
Basin
Zwickau
Erzgebirge range
Kaiserwald
Nejdek High
KHF
Most Basin
Eger graben
Rakovník High plateau
Chemnitz
Leipzig-Nordsachsen
lowlands
SBF
Tilted Central Erzgebirge block
Erzgebirge range
CBSZ
Marienberg High
Chemnitz-Plauen Low
Leipzig
KHF
UPS
Böhmisches
Mittelgebirge
Rakovník High plateau
Eger graben
Freiberg
Prag
Leipzig-Nordsachsen
lowlands
SBF
Tilted Mittelsachsen block
Erzgebirge range
KHF
NF
SSE
NNW
SSE
NNW
SSE
NNW
1
2
3
UPS
UPS
KNES
RHS
RHS
0
500
1000
1500
0
500
1000
1500
0
500
1000
1500
Distance from KHF (km)
100
50
0
50
100
150
Fig. 5 – Topographic swath profiles along the Erzgebirge-Eger graben system. See locations in Fig. 4. All profiles have the same horizontal and vertical scales with a vertical exageration of 20.
Bold grey lines indicate inferred paleosurfaces. CPS - Chemnitz-Plauen surface, KNES - Kaiserwald, Nejdek and Eibenstock surfaces (possibly the same), RHS - Rakovník High surface, UPS -
Uppermost surface. Main structures: CBSZ - Central Bohemian Shear Zone, KHF - Krušné hory fault, SBF - Southern Boundary fault, NF - inferred Nejdek fault.
13

SW
NE
4
5
WSW
ENE
Distance (km)
0
500
1000 1500
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
Fichtelgebirge
Elbe Valley
Erzgebirge range
Oberlausitz
LF
Fichttelgebirge plateau
Oberlausitz
plateau
MLF
Oberlausitz lowlands
KF
GJFZ
FFZ
EFZ
'Tagebau Nochten'
lignite mine
Erzgebirge block
Eibenstock
High
Annaberg-Marienberg
highs
Mittelsachsen
High
Fichtelgebirge
Elbe Valley
Kaiserwald
Rakovník-Křivoklát High
Vltava Valley
MLF
Cheb
graben
Fichtelgebirge
plateau
Bohemian
Cretaceous
Basin
Northern Bohemian block
graben ?
0
500
1000 1500
Fig. 6 – Topographic swath profiles across the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault and Elbe Valley. See locations in Fig. 4. All profiles have the same horizontal and vertical scales with a vertical exageration
of 20. Main structures: EFZ - Elbe fault zone, FFZ - Flöha fault zone, GJFZ - Gera-Jáchymov fault zone, KF - Klingenthal fault, LF - Lusatian fault, MLF - Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault.
14

image
0
200
400 m
0
5
10
15
20 km
Tilted
paleo-surface
Elsterian
Terraces ?
Oberlausitz
plateau
Erzgebirge
top surface
initial base-level
Elbe
present-day base-level
River
Vertical exageration x10
Gottleuba
River
DRESDEN
PIRNA
Tilted
paleo-surface
Tilted
paleo-surface
ERZGEBIRGE
OBERLAUSITZ PLATEAU
ELBE CANYON
Fig. 7 – Topographic swath profile showing tilted blocks and inferred normal faults across the Elbe valley east of Pirna (western
end of the Elbe canyon).
4.1.2. Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system and Elbe valley
Profiles 4 and 5 (Fig. 6, location in Fig. 4) are transverse to previous profiles. They show the main
topographic features between the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system and the Elbe valley for the Erzgebirge
range (profile 4) and the Bohemian plateaus (Kaiserwald and Rakovník High, profile 5).
Both profiles show a similar trend. West of the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system (Fichtelgebirge and
Cheb basin) the topography is relatively constant with elevations above ~500m. The Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault is marked by a ~500m high topographic scarp in profile 5. The depression related to the Cheb
half-graben is poorly marked. In profile 4 the western edge of the Erzgebirge block is affected by two
major faults (Mariánské-Lázne
˘
and Klingenthal faults).
Areas located between the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system and the Elbe valley appear to be gently
tilted toward the East. In profile 5 the main trend is slighly concave with a stronger tilt close to the
Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault (Kaiserwald) and then a more gentle tilt within the Rakovník High. In profile 4
the main trend is disrupted by deep river incisions corresponding to major NW-trending structures (e.g.,
Gera-Jáchymov and Flöha fault zones) and by the incision of the Elbe river between the Elbe fault zone
and the Lusatian Fault. The Lusatian fault itself is bounded to the East by the 30km wide Oberlausitz
plateau. The difference between minimum and maximum elevations suggests a strong incision by the
drainage network in the Fichtelgebirge range and Eibenstock High (western Erzgebirge). By contrast, the
central part of the Mittelsachsen High and the Oberlausitz plateau appear less incised.
Fig. 7 displays a topographic profile between the Erzgebirge range and the Oberlausitz plateau. In areas
surrounding Pirna several surfaces are well identified by spaced topographic contours. The topographic
15

6
7
SE
NW
SSW
NNE
0
500
1000
1500
Böhmische mittelgebirge
volcanic field
Bohemian paleo-topography (?)
Horst ?
Česká Lípa
plateau
Nordsachsen lowlands
Sächsische Schweiz - Oberlausitz
plateaus
Jizera Valley
Böhmische mittelgebirge
volcanic field
Bohemian paleo-topography (?)
Central Bohemian
highlands
Lausitz lowlands
Česká Lípa plateau
Elbe Valley
EFZ (?)
LF
Oberlausitzer Highlands
Zittau Basin
Rakovník High paleosurface (?)
Present-day base-level
0
500
1000
1500
Distance (km)
0
50
100
150
200
Present-day base-level
Fig. 8 – Topographic swath profiles across the Lusatian region. See locations in Fig. 4. All profiles have the same horizontal and vertical scales with a vertical exageration of 20. Main structures:
EFZ - Elbe fault zone, LF - Lusatian Fault.
16
Berzdorf Basin

profile in Fig. 7 suggests that most of these surfaces may in fact represent a single one which is tilted
along inferred NW- to E-trending normal faults. We also observe two main levels of incisions by the rivers.
The highest one is probably related to a relict base-level while the lower one (reached by the Gottleuba
and Elbe rivers) represent the present-day base-level.
4.1.3.
ˇ
Ceská Lípa plateau and Lusatian Highlands
Profiles 6 and 7 (Fig. 8, location in Fig. 4) are located in the eastern regions (Lusatian highlands
and
ˇ
Ceská Lípa plateau). If we except volcanic centers, both profiles show similar elevations (ranging
between 250 and 350m) for the
ˇ
Ceská Lípa plateau south of the Lusatian Fault and for Oberlausitz
plateau and Lusatian Highlands located north of the Lusatian Fault. These three units possibly formed
a paleo-topographic high. The curves for minimum elevations suggest a relict base-level which is now
located 100 to 150 m above the present day base-level corresponding to the Nordsachsen and Lausitz
lowlands. The paleo-topography is disrupted by an elevated portion of the Böhmische Mittelgebirge
(perhaps related to a horst-like structure) in profile 6 and by a scarp related to the Lusatian Fault in
profile 7.
East of the
ˇ
Ceská Lípa plateau the Elbe river has incised this paleo-topography and has almost the
same elevation than the Nordsachsen lowlands (profile 7 in Fig. 8). The base-level of rivers located in the
ˇ
Ceská Lípa plateau corresponds to the one located in the Central Bohemian Highlands (see minimum
elevations in profile 7). However, rivers in Central Bohemian Highlands have incised a paleosurface
(referred as "Rakovník High paleosurface" in profile 7) which can be observed in maximum elevations.
4.2.
Morphometric maps and analysis of surfaces
4.2.1. Topographic position index
The topographic position index (TPI, Fig. 9) provides a map of major topographic scarps and incisions
by the drainage network. It also allows to characterize the topographic expression of main faults and to
compare incisions between different drainage systems.
The observed pattern in TPI values is clearly controlled by the structural setting. Low TPI values
associated to valleys show four preferential directions: ~N050
(related to the Eger graben and Central
Bohemian shear zone), N135
to N155
(related to several mapped lineaments such as the Mariánské-
Lázne,
˘
Flöha or Gera-Jáchymov fault zones), N350
to N010
(mainly defined by linear rivers in the central
part of the Erzgebirge range) and N080
to N100
(defined by local alignement of rivers in the western
part of the Ergebirge and Oberlausitz/
ˇ
Ceská Lípa plateaus). The Krušné Hory fault scarp located along
the northern border of the Eger graben is particularly well defined by the juxtaposition of extremely high
(>150) and low (< -150) TPI values. The southern rim of the Eger graben is well delimited within the
Sokolov depression while its topographic expression is clearly attenuated in the Most depression. The
Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault scarp is also well defined. It delimitates the Kaiserwald plateau and the Erzgebirge
range to the west and its trace can be followed to the SE of Plauen.
The intensity of negative TPI values reflects both the geometry of the valleys and the degree of
incision of the surrounding topography by the drainage network. The Elbe river and its tributaries are
deeply entrenched (TPI
-100) in the areas encompassing the Sächsische Schweiz and the Böhmisches
Mittelgebirge. Most of the Elbe river downstream of Meißen and upstream of the Böhmisches Mittelgebirge
show moderate incision (TPI values between 0 and -50). The drainage network upstream from Prag
17

image
Fig. 9 – Topographic position index (see explanations in section 3.1.) calculated using a 100 pixels (~9 km) moving window.
See Fig. 4 for structures and cities abbreviations.
(Berounka, Vltava and Sázava rivers) and Karlovy Vary (Teplá river) are also deeply entrenched as
suggested by narrow valleys and TPI values lower than -100. The upper part of the Mulde drainage
system in the Erzgebirge is deeply entrenched between the the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
and Flöha fault zones.
By contrast rivers in the eastern Erzgebirge (between the Flöha fault zone and the Elbe valley) display
lower (Freiberger Mulde) or moderate (tributaries of the Elbe) incisions.
4.2.2. Hypsometry
The distribution of hypsometry in Saxony and NW Czech Republic (Fig. 10) closely follows two main
structural trends associated to the ENE-trending Eger graben system and to the NW- to NNW-trending
faults of the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
and Elbe fault systems.
The Eger graben is well outlined by low HI values (<0.35). Two main areas can be identified. The
first one is approximately 70 km long and 30 km wide and encompasses the Most depression and the
SW part of the Böhmisches Mittelgebirge (Northern Bohemian Uplands). Lowest HI values are located
along the two flank of the Eger graben and mainly reflect the contrast between the Eger and Bílina rivers
valleys and the rims of the Eger graben. In the central part of the Eger graben HI values increase up to
0.45. It is related to the moderate incision of graben floor deposits by the tributaries of the Eger river (e.g.,
Chomutovka river) and to the incisions of the Böhmisches Mittelgebirge. The second area corresponds to
18

image
Fig. 10 – Hypsometric integral (see explanations in section 3.1.) calculated using a 100 pixels (~9 km) moving window. See
Fig. 4 for structures and cities abbreviations.
the 40 km long and only 11 km wide Sokolov basin which is wedged between the Erzgebirge to the north,
the Kaiserwald to the south and the Neogene Doupov volcanic complex to the east.
The rims of the Eger graben are marked by high HI values (>0.50). The southern rim is characterized
by irregular and discontinuous hypsometric highs: from east to west the Rakovník-Kˇrivoklátsko high (the
largest one) located to the west of Prag, the Jecenice high located to the north of Plzen
ˇ
and the Kaiserwald
high located to the south of Karlovy Vary. These hypsometric highs correspond to a topography of deeply
incised plateaus. Main rivers (e.g., Teplá, Stˇrela, Rakovnický potok) crossing these areas are deeply
entrenched with an average incision of ~100m with respect to surrounding plateaus (Fig. 9).
The hypsometric high corresponding to the northern rim of the Eger graben (Erzgebirge) is particularly
well marked as it form a narrow and almost continuous band between 12.5°E and 14°E. High HI values
(>0.5) are related to the topographic scarp formed by the Krušné Hory fault and to the relative flat top of
the range which is deeply incised by entrenched rivers (Fig. 9). However, the hypsometric high located at
the SW end of the Erzgebirge (north of the Sokolov depression) is located well afar from the Krušné Hory
fault. This can be explained by the fact that the main elavation is produced not by the Krušné Hory fault
but by the inferred E-trending Nejdek fault (see profile 1 in Fig. 5). Hypsometric highs are also disrupted
along NNE- and NW-trending discontinuities possibly related to a structural control. For instance, the
Marienberg hypsometric high (located to the east of Annaberg) is clearly delimited by the NW-trending
19

Flöha fracture zone to the east an by a NNE-trending hypsometric low to the west. This NNE-trending
hypsometric low (Annaberg low) is associated to several parallel N-trending rivers and valleys and may
be of tectonic origin.
Two hypsometric lows potentially related to ENE- to NE-trending structures are also highlighted. The
first one is marked by a 80 km long and 10 to 15 km wide band of low HI values extending between Plauen
and Chemnitz. It may correspond to a topographic contrast between the northern rim of the Erzgebirge
and its relatively flat foreland. The second one is located south of the Berounka river between Plzen
ˇ
and
Prag, along the Central Bohemian Shear Zone.
The ENE to NE zonation of the central part of the area is disrupted to the SW by the Cheb half-graben
and to the NE by the Elbe Fault Zone. The Mariánské-Lázne
˘
Fault Zone which marks the NE limit of the
Cheb half-graben separate an area with low HI values corresponding to the Cheb and Bor-Domažlice basins
from the Erzgebirge and Kaiserwald hypsometric highs. The Elbe valley is marked by an hypsometric
low between Meißen and Pirna.
In this area,
the Elbe valley is bounded to the south by an hypsometric
high which encompass the Granulite Massif and the area between Freiberg and Meißen. These two areas
correspond to a gentle topography moderatly incised by rivers (50 to 60m, Fig. 9). The hypsometric
high located along the northern flank of the Elbe valley is aligned in a NW direction. It corresponds
to the western border of the Oberlausitz plateau which is separated from the Elbe valley by the NW-
trending Lauzitzer fault.
Hypsometric integral values in northen saxony are low and reflect a gentle topography with moderate
incisions (Fig. 9). All the hypsometric highs marked by stars in Fig. 10 (region of Lepzig, north of Bautzen
and south of Görlitz) are artefacts resulting from mining activities.
4.2.3. Surface roughness
Surface roughness (Fig. 11) appears to be strongly influenced by river incisions. Extreme values
(> 1.01) are concentrated along two main areas. The first one corresponds to the Elbe canyon (the portion
of the Elbe river between Bad Schandau and Ústí nad Labem) and reflects high incision by the tributaries
of the Elbe river in this area. The second SR peak is located between the Doupov volcanic complex and
the western part of the Erzgebirge range. This area corresponds to the highest portion of the Erzgebirge
range with elevations above 1200m. To the south (along the Eger graben fault scarp) the Eger river is
jammed between the Erzgebirge range and the Doupov volcanic complex and forms a deeply entrenched
canyon (Fig. 9). High SR values in this area result thus from the topographic contrast between the elevated
part of the Erzgebirge range (up to 1200m) and the narrow Eger valley (~300m). In a similar way incisions
along the Weiße Elster (north of Plauen), Teplá (south of Karlovy Vary) and Moldau-Berounka rivers and
their tributaries (SW of Prag) produced relatively high SR values (1.004 to 1.008).
SR values along the Erzgebirge display a complex pattern. This pattern is influenced by river incisions
but also reveals a potential structural control. We can define three main regions delimited from east to
west by the Elbe fault zone, the Flöha fault zone, the Gera-Jáchymov fault zone and the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system. Each of these fault zones mark a discontinuity in the surface roughness map. We also note
a substantial decrease in SR values from SW to NE. The western region between the Gera-Jáchymov
and the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault zones show high SR values (1.008 to 1.010) related to incisions along the
upper segments of the Zwickauer Mulde and the Svatava (Fig. 9). The central area between the Flöha and
Gera-Jáchymov fault zone show moderate values (~1.006) related to the Preßnitz river and its tributaries.
20

image
Fig. 11 – Surface roughness (see explanations in section 3.1.) calculated using a 100 pixels (~9 km) moving window. See
Fig. 4 for structures and cities abbreviations.
Finally east of the Flöha fault zone most of the high SR values are located along the southern rim of the
Erzgebirge and can be explained by the topography of the Erzgebirge range rather than a strong incision
by the tributaries of the Mulde river (Fig. 9).
Most of the areas located in northern Saxony display low SR values indicating a gentle topography
with moderate incisions (SR<1.003, Granulite Massif, area between Freiberg and Meißen) or flat areas
(SR<1.001, northern Oberlausitz, regions of Leipzig, Torgau and Bautzen). In NW Czech Republic the
Most depression and Bohemian Cretaceous Basin are well outlined by extremely low SR values (<1.001).
4.2.4. Surface index
The surface index (SI, Fig. 12) classify the landscape using both hypsometric integral and surface
roughness and allows thus to observe more clearly the pattern of preserved and eroded regions (see section
3.1. for more details).
Most of the areas located in northern Saxony appear as a steady-state topography. As indicated by SI
values between -0.05 and 0.05, these areas are extremely flat and poorly incised by the drainage network.
For instance, there is no effects of the Elbe river on SI values downstream Meißen.
By contrast, the Erzgebirge mountains are locally deeply incised by the drainage network. Positive
SI values correspond to flat or tilted surfaces observed in Fig. 5. These areas can be considered as the
21

image
Fig. 12 – Surface index (classification of landscapes using hypsometric integral and surface roughness, see explanations in
section 3.1.). Structures and cities abbreviations are provided in Fig. 4.
relicts of an initially flat landscape which is now significantly elevated above the present-day regional
base-level. The uppermost paleosurface ("UPS" in Fig. 5) is represented by small patches of positive SI
values located along the border between Saxony and Czech Republic. The higher topographic position
of this surface is marked by SI values above 0.2, especially in Marienberg and Eibenstock highs. The
Chemnitz-Plauen low as well as the tilted surface in Freiberg area are represented by lower values (between
0 and 0.15). These surfaces are also relatively well preserved but located at a lower elevation. Negative SI
values reveals strong incisions of these surfaces by the drainage network. These incisions result from a
disequilibrium in topography related to a base-level change. SI values suggest a stronger incision of the
Erzgebirge region south of a line between Plauen and Dresden. These strong incisions results from the
sharp topographic contrast between the uppermost paleosurface and the Chemnitz-Plauen surface (Fig. 5).
Areas located north of the Plauen-Dresden line are less incised as the difference in elevation between the
Chemnitz-Plauen surface and the present-day steady-state topography is less important.
Areas located within the Eger rift are dominated by erosional processes as indicated by negative SI
values. The canyon of the Elbe across the Böhmisches Mittelgebirge and the entrenched portion of the
Eger river between the Sokolov depression and the Most basin correspond to extremely deep incisions.
The Most basin is the only area within the Eger rift which displays a relatively well preserved surface. On
the southern rim of the Eger rift several surfaces identified by positive SI values are also well preserved
22

image
Fig. 13 – Isobases from rivers (interpolation of streams height using natural neighbour method, Sibson, 1981). See Fig. 4 for
structures and cities abbreviations.
(see Rakovnik and Kaiserwald surfaces in Fig. 5). These surfaces are heavily eroded to the south by the
Berounka and Vltava drainage systems.
4.3. Analysis of the drainage network
4.3.1. Isobases from rivers
Isobases (Fig. 13, interpolation of streams and rivers heights) provide an overview of the base-level for
the main rivers in Saxony and NW Czech Republic. The isobasic surface is strongly affected by the Eger
graben. There is a sharp contrast between the Eger graben floor in the Most depression and the Erzgebirge
range. The southern flank of the Sokolov depression (Kaiserwald area) and the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault
system also affect the isobase surface. The rest of the isobase surface displays several flat areas roughly
corresponding to two successive base-levels. The first one is the present day base-level (elevations <
150m) and correspond to the areas located in northern Saxony (Nordsachsen and Oberlausitz lowlands)
and along the Elbe river (violet colors in Fig. 13). The second one is what we suggest to be an older
base-level occupying a higher position (between 250 and 400m in Fig. 13) with respect to the present day
one. It is largely preserved in the eastern regions of the Central Bohemian Highland (e.g., Rakovník High)
as well as in the areas corresponding to the Ceská Lípa plateau and Lusatian highlands. A few remnants
of this base level are preserved along the northern flank of the Erzgebirge mountains, along an axis going
23

image
Fig. 14 – Interpolated map of steepness indices (k
sn
, see section3.3.). See Fig. 4 for structures and cities abbreviations.
from Plauen to Freiberg. The area located west of the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system (Fichtelgebirge
and Cheb depression) form an homogenous base-level at ~500m. Finally, the highest isobases values
are found along the Krušné Hory fault and in the Kaiservald area and can be associated with identified
paleo-surfaces (see "Uppermost paleosurface" and "Kaiserwald-Nejdek-Eibenstock surface" in Fig. 5)
The areas corresponding to the transition between two base levels are marked by an higher incision by
the rivers (and by an increase in surface roughness values as described in previous section) as the rivers
adjust to the present-day base level. For example the lower part of the Vltava-Berounka river system is
strongly entrenched between Plzen
ˇ
(which is located in the upper base-level surface) and the region of
Prag (corresponding to the present day base-level). The incision of the
ˇ
Ceská Lípa-Lusatian highlands is
also well marked in Fig. 11 and correspond to the difference between the present-day base-level already
reached by the Elbe river and the relict base level of the surrounding plateaus.
4.3.2. Steepness index
We manually extracted k
sn
values from ~17000 segments belonging to more than 3000 streams and
rivers. Stream segments containing individual k
sn
values were converted to points. Fig. 14 displays the
result of the interpolation using an inverse distance weighting scheme.
Highest k
sn
values are mainly distributed along the Eger graben. Peak values (≥70) are found along
the Krušné Hory fault scarp and in tributaries of the Elbe river located in Sächsische Schweiz and
24

Böhmisches Mittelgebirge. These peak values reflect fast incisions which are associated either to high
uplift rates along the Krušné Hory fault or to a rapid fall of the regional base-level.
The k
sn
values reflect the complexity of the tilted areas located between the Krušné Hory fault and the
Chemnitz-Plauen low (see Fig. 5). Low k
sn
values in Marienberg High and Velký mocál
ˇ
area (on top of
the Eibenstock block) are associated to the paleo-surfaces observed in swath profiles 1 to 3 (Fig. 5). These
low k
sn
values are found in the uppermost segments of river profiles and suggest that relict base-levels
corresponding to an antecedant flat and low topography are still locally preserved. Lower segments of
main rivers (e.g., Zwickauer Mulde, Zschopau, Flöha) and their tributaries display higher k
sn
values (25 to
50) which indicate a disequilibrium in river profiles and relatively strong incisions within the central and
western portions of the Erzgebirge mountains. By contrast most of the areas located between the Flöha
fault zone and the Elbe valley (referred as Mittelsachsen block in Fig. 5) show lower k
sn
values. It suggests
that the initial topography of this region is still largelly preserved. k
sn
values along the Freiberger Mulde
and its tributaries does not exceed 25 and reflect lower incisions than in central and western Erzgebirge
mountains. On the other hand, tributaries of the Elbe river (east of the Weißeritz river) show greater values
(up to 40) and reflect thus a strong disequilibrium possibly resulting from the capture of these rivers by
the Elbe drainage system.
Most of the areas located north of the Erzgebirge mountains display k
sn
values lower than 25. Values
below 10 mainly found in Nordsachsen and Oberlausitz lowlands indicate extremely flat areas with low
incisions by the drainage network. Flat areas associated to low k
sn
values are also found in the foreland
of the Erzgebirge (e.g., Oberlausitz plateau, Chemnitz-Plauen low). However, k
sn
values between 15
and 20 found along main tributaries of the Mulde and Weiße Elster rivers suggest that these flat surfaces
are located slightly above the present day base-level and are now being gently eroded by the drainage
network.
Areas located south of the Most depression and Böhmisches Mittelgebirge display low k
sn
values
which also indicate flat areas with low incisions by the drainage network. The
ˇ
Ceská Lípa plateau as well
as the Bohemian Creataceous Basin and Rakovník High are highlighted by extremely low values (≤10)
which make a strong contrast with the Böhmisches Mittelgebirge and Lusatian fault areas. However, as for
the Oberlausitz plateau and Chemnitz-Plauen area, k
sn
values between 15 and 20 found around the
ˇ
Ceská
Lípa plateau and Rakovník High suggest that these surfaces are not in equilibrium with the present-day
base-level.
Finally, areas located south of the Sokolov depression and Doupov Volcanic Complex display mainly
high k
sn
values (25 to 40). As in the Erzgebirge low k
sn
values (<20) are found locally and indicate relict
base-levels corresponding to an antecedant flat and low topography. However, higher k
sn
values along
main rivers (e.g., Teplá) clearly indicate that this antecedent topography is well above the present-day
regional base-level and that it is now being eroded. A flat area located between the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault
system and the Fichtelgebirge range and partly corresponding to the Cheb depression is highlighted by
low k
sn
values (<20). This flat region is possibly continuous with the Chemnitz-Plauen low topography
observed on the northern flank of the Erzgebirge mountains.
4.3.3. River longitudinal profiles
We analyzed the profiles of the main tributaries of the Elbe river in the Erzgebirge and Sächsische
Schweiz areas. Representative river profiles and analyses for major rivers are displayed in appendices I
25

(tributaries of the Elbe river) and II (rivers in the Erzgebirge range). River profiles and relict base-levels
interpretation is summarized in Fig. 15. The geometry of river profiles within the considered area is not
uniform. Indeed, each domain defined using swath topographic profiles (Fig. 5) and geomorphic maps
(Fig. 10 to 14) is associated to a specific geometry: (1) Eastern Elbe valley (Oberlausitz plateau and
Sächsische Schweiz), (2) Western Elbe valley, (3) Mittelsachsen block, (4) Central Erzgebirge block and
(5) Western Erzgebirge block.
1/ Eastern Elbe valley:
This region is characterized by a flat topographic surface in the north (Oberlausitz plateau) and by the
more mountainous Sächsische Schweiz landscape in the south. Both areas are deeply incised along the
Elbe river canyon. Although these two areas seem to be different from a geomorphological point of
view, their river
profiles show significant similarities. Most of the tributaries located on the eastern
side of the Elbe river are characterized by a smooth concave upper segment corresponding to a relict
base-level (noted "b.l.1" in Fig. A1.2 to A1.7). Best-fitting concave curves suggest that this base-
level is located approximately between 100 and 135m above the present-day base-level of the Elbe river
(see the offsets between the best-fitting curves and the actual rivers profiles in Fig. A1.2 to A1.7). The
elevation of this relict base-level seems to decrease toward the north perhaps as the result of a regional
tilt.
The relict base-level observed in upper parts of the rivers is connected to the Elbe river by steeper
segments (for example "b.l.2" and "b.l.3" in Fig. A1.3). These transient segments are characterized by
higher k
sn
values (30 to 50) than the upper part of the rivers (≤15). These abnormally steep segments
are also associated to peaks in stream length-gradient values (SL index higher than 250 in Fig. A1.2 to
A1.7).
2/ Western Elbe valley:
The second region corresponds roughly to the areas located between the Weißeritz river to the West
and the Elbe river to the East and between the Krušné-Hory fault to the South and Dresden to the North
(profiles in Fig. A1.8 to A1.11). We identified a relict base-level with an elevation of 100m to 150m
(noted "b.l.1" in Fig. A1.8 to A1.10). This base-level is similar to the one found in Oberlausitz plateau and
Sächsische Schweiz areas. However, k
sn
values associated to this base-level are relatively high for the
Biela (k
sn
=44 in Fig. 1.8) and Gottleuba (k
sn
=40 in Fig. 1.10) rivers. These values may reflect a
disequilibrium resulting from the tilting of the Erzgebirge mountain. The same base-level is unaffected
and possibly still in its initial position close to the Elbe river (see the Struppenbach stream profile in Fig.
A1.9) as suggested by a k
sn
value of 12.
The Weißeritz river (Fig. A1.11) displays three main segments (noted "b.l.1" to "b.l.3") separated by
knickpoints. Knickpoints can be easily identified by peak values in both SL and SA indices. These
segments show high k
sn
values and may also reflect a disequilibrium resulting from the tilting of the
Erzgebirge mountain. Base-levels 1 and 2 may be equivalent to those found in other rivers such as the
Kirnitzsch (Fig. A1.2) or the Sebnitz (Fig. A1.3). However, reconstructions of these base-levels for the
Weißeritz
river
may be inaccurate as the curves intercept the river profile. The base-level 3 is the highest
one and roughly corresponds to the uppermost surface observed in swath profile 3 (Fig. 5). Reconstruction
of this base-level suggests an offset of ~400m with respect to the present-day base-level of the Elbe river.
26

image
Fig. 15 –
Summary of interpreted relict base-levels in the Elbe valley and Erzgebirge range. Bold lines highlight relict
base-levels. Dashed lines show the reconstructed profile based on corresponding relict base-level.
Downstream tributaries of the Elbe river (Triebisch river in Fig. 1.12 and Ketzerbach stream in
Fig.
A1.13) also display an upper relict base-level noted "b.l.1". However, reconstructed profiles suggest a
minor offset (≤15m) between this relict base-level and the present-day base-level of the Elbe river. SL
indices associated to knickpoints as well as k
sn
values gradually decrease toward the north. This area
corresponds to the northernmost extend of the tilted Erzgebirge block.
3/ Mittlesachsen block:
The Mittlesachsen block is incised by two main rivers: the Freiberger Mulde (Fig. A2.1) and the Flöha
(Fig. A2.3). The profiles of these two rivers are similar. Both profiles display an uppermost relict base-
level (noted "b.l.1"), intermediate relict base-levels (noted "b.l.2" and "b.l.3") and a lower base level
(noted "b.l.4") corresponding to the present-day regional base level (Nordsachsen lowlands). Relict base-
level 1 roughly corresponds to the uppermost surface observed in swath profile 3 (Fig. 5). Low k
sn
values
(~20) suggest that this part of the drainage system is still in steady-state although it is elevated between
700 and 800m. Reconstructed profiles suggest an offset of ~200m with respect to the present-day base-
level. Intermediate base-levels display slightly higher k
sn
values (25 to 35) which may indicate a transient
stage. These segments are separated from the lowermost base-level by a prominent knickpoint highlighted
by a sharp peak in SL index. According to reconstructed profiles this knickpoint is associated to an incision
of ~30m between the base-levels 3 and 4.
27

4/ Central Erzgebirge (Marienberg block):
The Schwarze Pockau (upstream segment in Fig. A2.4) is a tributary of the Flöha river located
within the Marienberg high (see swath profile 2 in Fig. 5). It displays an upper relict base-level (noted
"b.l.1"in Fig. 2.4) similar to the one found in the Freiberger Mulde (Fig. A2.1) and Flöha (Fig. A2.3)
rivers. However, it is separated from lower base-levels by a steeper segment (k
sn
=52).
The Zschopau (Fig. A2.6) and Jöhstädter Schwarzwasser (Fig. A2.5) river profiles are similar to the
eastern tributaries of the Freiberger Mulde river. However, their uppermost segments are steeper (k
sn
≥30).
These higher k
sn
values suggest that the corresponding portions of the drainage network are not in
steady-state and reconstructions of relict base-levels may thus be inaccurate. For instance, reconstruction
for the Jöhstädter Schwarzwasser uppermost base-level (noted "b.l.1" in Fig. A2.5) suggest an offset
of only ~150m while it is over 300m for other profiles. This is mainly due to abnormally high steepness
of this segment. The Zschopau (Fig. A2.6) and Jöhstädter Schwarzwasser (Fig. A2.5) display an
intermediate base-level (noted "b.l.2" in Fig. A2.5) corresponding to the Chemnitz-Plowen low (swath
profile 2 in Fig. 5). This intermediate base-level is separated from the present-day lower base-level (noted
"b.l.3" in Fig. A2.5) by a knickpoint associated to a minor incision (~50m).
The Zwönitz (Fig. A2.8) and Würschnitz (Fig. A2.9) rivers are tributaries of the Zwickauer Mulde. The
Zwönitz river displays an uppermost base-level (noted "b.l.1" in Fig. A2.8) corresponding to a relict
surface (Annaberg High). This base-level is separated from an intermediate base-level (noted "b.l.2" in
Fig. A2.8) by a smooth knickpoint. Reconstructions of profiles show an offset of less than 25m
between both base-levels. The intermediate base-level is also observed in Zschopau and Jöhstädter
Schwarzwasser profiles ("b.l.2" in Fig. A2.5) and corresponds to the Chemnitz-Plowen low (swath profile
2 in Fig. 5). The intermediate base-level is separated from the present day base-level (noted "b.l.3" in
Fig. A2.8) by a well marked knickpoint (k
sn
=52 and SLindex>400 in Fig. 2.8). According to reconstructed
profiles in Fig. 2.8, this knickpoint is associated to an incision of 50 to 75m. The Würschnitz river profile
(Fig. A2.9) is similar
but
it does not display the uppermost base-level observed in the Zwönitz river.
5/ Western Erzgebirge (Eibenstock block):
The western Erzgebirge is mainly incised by the tributaries of the Zwickauer Mulde and Weiße
Elster rivers (Fig. A2.10 to A2.14). The Zwickauer Mulde (Fig. A2.11) and Schwarzwasser (Fig.
A2.10) river profiles show three main base-levels. The highest segment in Schwarzwasser profile
(noted "b.l.1." in Fig. A2.10) corresponds to the uppermost paleosurface observed in swath profile 1
(Fig. 5). This segment displays a very low k
sn
value which suggest that this part of the drainage network
was part of an initially flat and low topography. According to the reconstructed profile this relict base-
level is now located at ~500m above the present day base-level. The highest segment for the Zwickauer
Mulde river (noted "b.l.1." in Fig. A2.11) is located at a lower elevation and corresponds to the Nejdek-
Eibenstock surface in Fig. 5. In both profiles base-levels 2 and 3 correspond respectively to the
Chemnitz-Plauen low and to the Leipzig-Nordsachsen lowlands (present-day local base level) in swath
profile 1 (Fig. 5). They are separated from the upper base-levels by very steep segments characterized
by SL index values between 200 and 600 and by k
sn
values of ~60. Base-levels 2 and 3 are themselves
separated by a knickpoint associated to an incision of ~30m. A similar amount of incision can be found
in the Pleiße (Fig. A2.12) and Göltzsch (Fig. A2.13) rivers.
28

image
Fig. 16 – Interpretative structural diagram of the Eger rift and Erzgebirge range showing main discontinuities from geomorphic
indices. Faults abbreviations: EFZ - Elbe fault zone, FFZ - Flöha fault zone, GJFZ - Gera-Jáchymov fault zone, KHF - Krušné
Hory fault, LuF - Lusatian fault, MLF - Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault, OFZ - Eger fault zone.
5.
Discussion
The topography of Saxony and NW Czech Republic appears to be geomorphically young. Our
topographic profiles (Fig. 5 to 8) as well as geomorphic maps (Fig. 9 to 12) show that large portions of
the landscape consist
of
relatively well preserved surfaces. These surfaces are mainly characterized by
a low amplitude topography and a low degree of incision by the drainage network. These surfaces are
also associated to well defined relict base-levels in river profiles. Most of these relict base-levels
display low k
sn
values (≤20) which may indicate that the associated portions of landscapes were located
at a much lower elevation. In addition, our geomorphic maps show a strong structural control on the
landscape (Fig. 16). Geomorphic domains corresponding to the NE-trending Eger graben and its northern
and southern rims can be clearly identified. Our results also reveal a strong fabric in geomorphic maps
and rivers corresponding to NW-trending lineaments (Mariánské-Lázn˘e, Gera-Jáchymov, Flöha, Elbe
lineaments). These lineaments divide the Erzgebirge tilted block in three main compartments with
different erosional and thus evolutionary stages. The drainage network is also strongly affected by
N-trending lineaments in the central part of the Erzgebirge.
Although located at different elevations, observed surfaces and base-levels may be assimilated to relicts
of the "etchplain" described by Czudek & Demek (1970). During Paleogene times, regional peneplains
29

image
image
Fig. 17 – Elevations of main surfaces in Saxony and NW Czech Republic. We interpolated flat (i.e. not incised by rivers)
portions of landscapes highlighted by TPI values close to 0 (Fig. 9) or positive SI values (Fig. 12). The result is a simplified
topography without major incisions. Main topographic "steps" are shown in profiles below. See Fig. 4 for structures and cities
abbreviations.
30

developped under tropical conditions. These peneplains marked a period of tectonic stagnation throughout
the Bohemian massif. Then, during Oligocene and Neogene, the layer of tropical regolith was stripped of
(Demek, 2004). The basal surface of weathering (referred as "etchplain") was modelled by a drainage
network flowing from the main drainage divide located in central regions of the Bohemian massif (south
of Plzen
ˇ
and Prag) to a sea covering northernmost parts of Saxony (Malkovský, 1979; Suhr, 2003). The
resulting irregular surface was then affected by tectonics events and forms now the uppermost surface of
uplifted blocks (Migon
´,
1997, 2008).
Relicts of the Paleogene etchplain can be used as a proxy for base-levels changes. We made an attempt
to reconstruct the present day geometry of this surface. We sampled elevations from portions of landscapes
that were assumed to be preserved surfaces. We mainly used the poorly eroded and relatively flat areas
highlighted by positive SI values in Fig. 12. We also sampled elevations corresponding to positive TPI
values (Fig. 9) in strongly incised areas (Böhmisches Mittelgebirge and Sächsische Schweiz). Sampled
elevations were interpolated using an inverse distance weighting scheme. The result in Fig. 17 is an
approximation of topographic surfaces as they would be without the incision by the drainage network.
Profiles in Fig. 17 show that surfaces occupy four mains levels in the regional landscape. The highest
one is observed only along the northern rim of the Eger graben. Intermediate surfaces are located between
500 and 650m in Erzgebirge range-Kaiserwald plateau and between 400 and 500m in the Lusatian
Highlands. Lower surfaces are located between ~400m (Chemnitz-Plauen low) and ~300m (Oberlausitz
plateau). Finally, areas located in northern Saxony display a relatively flat landscape which correponds to
the present day steady-state topography.
Topographic profiles as well as the distribution of surfaces indicate that the main event of deformation
is related to the uplift and tilting of the Erzgebirge block along the Krušné Hory fault. According to Suhr
(2003), uplift started in the SW Erzgebirge during the Aquitanian and then propagated toward the NE
during the Burdigalian. This is consistent with mapped geomorphic indices (see for example Fig. 12)
which show higher erosion in the western part of the Erzbebirge range. The eastern part is less eroded and
appears thus to be younger. The uplift of the observed uppermost surface (Fig. 5) probably began during
this Early Miocene event. Our observations suggest that the limit between the Eibenstock block and the
Nejdek surface may correspond to an E-trending fault (Nejdek fault). Rajchl et al. (2009) proposed a
NNE- to N- oriented extension between the end of Eocene and early Miocene. This initial deformation
involved en échelon E- to ENE-trending faults. The difference between the uppermost surface and the
Kaiserwald-Nejdek surface in swath profile 1 (Fig. 5) suggests a displacement of at least 300m along the
Nejdek fault.
The Eger rift system was reorganized during the Middle Miocene and E-trending faults were over-
printed by a more recent NE-trending normal fault system (Rajchl et al., 2009). NE-trending faults
delimited several blocks. Both northern and southern rims of the Eger graben as well as parts of the
Böhmisches Mittelgebirge and Lusatian Highlands were uplifted a few hundred meters (100 to 300m ?).
Areas located within the graben as well as the areas between the Böhmisches Mittelgebirge and the Central
Bohemian Shear Zone remained at low elevations.
The lowest set of surfaces is associated to the most recent evolution of the region. These surfaces
are associated to well defined relict base-levels in analyzed river profiles. The difference between the
relict base-levels and the present day base-level of the Elbe river is approximately 150 m for the Sokolov
31

basin (Eger river), 100 m for the tributaries of the Vltava, 100 to 130 m for the tributaries of the Elbe river
(Böhmisches Mittelgebirge, Sächsische Schweiz, Oberlausitz plateau) and 40 to 60 m for the tributaries of
the Mulde River. These base-levels seem to be related to the more recent evolution of the Elbe drainage
system as some of them seems to be correlated with the upper part of the Pleistocene Vltava and Elbe
terrace sequences (Tyrácek
ˇ
, 2001; Tyrácek
ˇ
et al., 2004). Higher terraces in the Elbe valley are Cromerian
(465 to 850 ka) or Elsterian (418 to 465 ka) and are located at ~100m above the present-day base-level
of the Elbe river (Eissmann, 2002). We propose to correlate observed relict base-levels to these terraces.
Assuming that the bulk of the post-Cromerian or post-Elsterian incision of 100 to 150m is related to uplift,
it would correspond to a maximum uplift rate of 0.17 to 0.35 mm/yr.
Uplift in the Erzgebirge seems to be mainly associated to a tilt along the axis of the Krušné Hory
fault. However, regional-scale uplift may also be possibly associated to an E- to NE-trending tilt. Swath
profiles in Fig. 6 illustrate well this regional tilt east of the Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system. Regional tilting
is possibly related to the reactivation of NW-trending lineaments (Mariánské-Lázne,
˘
Gera-Jáchymov,
Flöha, Elbe lineaments) as normal faults under the present-day NW- to NNW-trending compression
(Müller et al., 1997; Jarosinski, 2006). Earthquake swarms (e.g., Fischer & Horálek, 2005; Babuška et al.,
2007), CO
2
-emanation (Bräuer et al., 2003) as well as geomorphological and geological studies (e.g.,
Peterek et al., 2011) provide evidences for active magmatism and ongoing tectonic activity along the
Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system.
6.
Conclusions
We analyzed the landscapes of Saxony and NW Czech Republic and their response to tectonics using
a combination of different geomorphic indices. Our results indicate that large portions of the landscape
consist in well preserved topographic surfaces. These surfaces are important features as they can provide a
complete record of the evolution of the Eger rift area. In addition, the limits and incisions of these surfaces
can reveal the structural control of major lineaments.
The NE-trending Eger graben and its rims can be clearly identified in geomorphic maps. Areas
located south (Kaiserwald and Rakovník High) consist in a large plateau. Whithin this domain observed
surfaces suggest a regional tilt toward the east, possibly related to NNW-trending structures such as the
Mariánské-Lázne
˘
fault system. The Erzgebirge block to the north is mainly tilted along the Krušné Hory
fault. Geomorphic indices and topographic profiles show that it is divided in three main compartments
by NW-trending lineaments (Mariánské-Lázne,
˘
Gera-Jáchymov, Flöha, Elbe lineaments). The drainage
network in the central part of the Erzgebirge is also aligned along N-trending lineaments. Alongstrike
changes in incisions suggest that the uplift of the Erzgebirge block was initiated along the western block
and then propagated toward the east. Areas located east of the Elbe fault zone form a plateau. Well
preserved surfaces and relict base-levels in river-profiles suggest a Pleistocene 100 to 150m base-level
change along the Elbe river.
Acknowledgements
The authors greatly thank the Sächsisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie
for providing useful 20m resolution data, geological data (including mapped faults for Saxony) and
32

discussions. The authors also thank Leomaris Domínguez-González for her precious help during the
extraction of river profiles.
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36

Appendix I.
Longitudinal profiles for the tributaries of the Elbe.
37

image
Fig. 1.1 – Locations of analyzed streams and rivers (blue lines). 1 - Kirnitzsch, 2 - Sebnitz, 3 - Polenz, 4 - Wesenitz, 5 -
Friedrichsgrundbach, 6 - Prießnitz, 7 - Biela, 8 - Struppenbach, 9 - Bahra & Gottleuba, 10 - Weißeritz, 11 - Triebisch, 12 -
Ketzerbach, 13 - Freiberger Mulde, 14 - Große Striegis, 15 - Flöha, 16 - Schwarze Pockau, 17 - Jöhstädter Schwarzwasser, 18 -
Zschopau, 19 - Große Lößnitz, 20 - Zwönitz, 21 - Würschnitz, 22 - Schwarzwasser, 23 - Zwickauer Mulde, 24 - Pleiße, 25 -
Göltzsch, 26 - Schwarzbach & Weiße Elster
38

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x20 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
60
13
34
16
24
35
7
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
SL index (5m)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
60
−5
−4
−3
−2
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
345
6
1
5.17 −1.05 13
2
14.1
−2.09 34
3
6.89 −1.16 16
4
37.5 −4.86
24
5
83.3 −10.3 35
6
10.2 −1.51
7
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
60
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.20
−0.15
−0.10
−0.05
0.00
0.05
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
60
Fig. 1.2 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Kirnitzsch river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile
and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
39

−0.2
−0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x20 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
10
20
30
40
km
8
33
45
27
9
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
SL index (5m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
10
20
30
40
km
−5.0
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
1
0.67−0.42 8
5
2
49.6 −6.31 33
3
22.3 −2.92 45
4
−1.56 −0.1
27
5
8.89 −1.33 9
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.15
−0.10
−0.05
0.00
0.05
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
km
Fig. 1.3 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Sebnitz river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile and
drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
40

−0.2
−0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x20 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
8
47
29
8
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
SL index (5m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
−5.0
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
1
−0.13−0.31 8
4
2
21.6 −2.9
47
3 −0.66 −0.2 29
4
9.23 −1.37 8
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.15
−0.10
−0.05
0.00
0.05
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
Fig. 1.4 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Polenz river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile and
drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
41

−0.4
−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x20 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
20
40
60
80
km
20
6
23
8
40
6
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
SL index (5m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
20
40
60
80
km
−6
−5
−4
−3
−2
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
0.15 −0.28 20
2
2.75 −0.7
6
3
256 −30.9 23
4
83.6 −10.3 8
5
334 −39.1 40
6
49.2 −5.6
6
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
Elevation (km)
0
20
40
60
80
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.15
−0.10
−0.05
0.00
Elevation (km)
0
20
40
60
80
km
Fig. 1.5 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Wesenitz river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile
and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
42

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x3 | Smoothed profile in blue (0 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
2
4
6
km8
7
51
14
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
SL index (5m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
SA index
1 km mov. win.
0
2
4
6
km8
−4
−3
−2
−1
4
5
6
7
8
9
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
1
−0.36−0.24
7
2
0.87 −0.32 51
3
3.83 −0.74
14
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
Elevation (km)
0
2
4
6
km8
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.12
−0.10
−0.08
−0.06
−0.04
−0.02
0.00
Elevation (km)
0
2
4
6
km8
Fig. 1.6 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Friedrichsgrundbach stream. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1)
River profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously
steep slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported
on the river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
43

−0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x20 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
km
7
15
31
16
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
SL index (5m)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
km
−5.0
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
23
4
1
1.68 −0.57
7
2
23.2 −3.31 15
3
26.8 −3.68 31
4
0.8 −0.41 16
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
Elevation (km)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.10
−0.08
−0.06
−0.04
−0.02
0.00
Elevation (km)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
km
Fig. 1.7 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Prießnitz river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile
and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
44

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x10 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30km
44
59
28
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
SL index (5m)
0
20
40
60
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30km
−5
−4
−3
−2
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
Elevation (km)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.3
−0.2
−0.1
0.0
Elevation (km)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30km
1
4.22
−0.81
44
2
47
−5.98 59
3
1.51 −0.46 28
Int.
Slope
ksn
Fig. 1.8 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Biela river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile and
drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
45

−0.4
−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x3 | Smoothed profile in blue (0 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
2
4
6
8
10
km
12
62
28
80
0
500
1000
1500
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
SL index (5m)
0
20
40
60
80
100
SA index
1 km mov. win.
0
2
4
6
8
10
km
−5
−4
−3
−2
−1
6
7
8
9
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
1
0.75 −0.4
12
2
13.8 −2.23 62
3
1.04 −0.39 28
4
297 −41.9 80
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
Elevation (km)
0
2
4
6
8
10
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.10
−0.05
0.00
Elevation (km)
0
2
4
6
8
10
km
Fig. 1.9 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Struppenbach stream. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River
profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep
slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the
river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
46

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x10 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
10
20
30
40
km
40
83
31
13
0
500
1000
1500
2000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
SL index (5m)
0
20
40
60
80
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
10
20
30
40
km
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
−1.5
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
23
1
1.38 −0.42 40
4
2
100 −12.3 83
3
20.9
−2.77
31
4
4.98 −0.87 13
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.10
−0.08
−0.06
−0.04
−0.02
0.00
0.02
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
km
Fig. 1.10 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Bahra-Gottleuba river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River
profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep
slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the
river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
47

−0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x10 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
20
40
60
km80
33
41
41
43
39
7
0
1000
2000
3000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
200
400
600
800
1000
SL index (5m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
20
40
60
km80
−5
−4
−3
−2
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
1.58 −0.46 33
2
13.9 −1.98
41
3
150 −18.6
41
4
4.84 −0.83 43
5
741
−84.9 39
6
4
−0.79
7
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
0
20
40
60
km80
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.4
−0.3
−0.2
−0.1
0.0
0.1
Elevation (km)
0
20
40
60
km80
Fig. 1.11 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Weißeritz river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile
and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
48

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x20 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
60
20
34
10
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
SL index (5m)
0
10
20
30
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
60
−6
−5
−4
−3
−2
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
1
−0.29−0.24 20
2
46.6 −5.8 34
3
7180 −745 10
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
60
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.01
0.00
0.01
0.02
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
50
km
60
Fig. 1.12 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Triebisch river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile
and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
49

−0.2
−0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x20 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
10
20
30
40
km
12
16
11
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
50
100
150
SL index (5m)
0
5
10
15
20
SA index
7 km mov. win.
0
10
20
30
40
km
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
1
−0.48−0.24
12
2
4.61 −0.86 16
3
9870−1020
11
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.010
−0.005
0.000
0.005
0.010
0.015
Elevation (km)
0
10
20
30
40
km
Fig. 1.13 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Ketzerbach river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River
profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep
slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the
river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
50

Appendix II.
Longitudinal profiles for rivers in the Erzgebirge range.
51

0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
20
28
26
22
13
Freiberger Mulde
Mulde
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
−1.5
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
5
1
−0.26−0.23 20
2
−0.05−0.26 28
3
9.91 −1.43 26
4
32.3 −3.91
22
5
5.94 −0.94 13
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
b.l.4
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.2
−0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
Fig. 2.1 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Freiberger Mulde river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River
profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep
slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the
river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
52

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
km
26
22
32
14
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
50
100
150
200
SL index (10m)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
km
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
1
3.62 −0.74 26
2
4.87 −0.88
22
3
2.91 −0.61 32
4
12.4
−1.59
14
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
0.00
0.02
0.04
0.06
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km
Fig. 2.2 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Große Striegis river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River
profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep
slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the
river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
53

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300 km
17
32
25
16
Flöha
Mulde
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300 km
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
1
1.57 −0.5
17
2
0 −0.28 32
3
1.08 −0.42 25
4
4.32 −0.76 16
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
b.l.4
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300 km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.3
−0.2
−0.1
0.0
0.1
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300 km
Fig. 2.3 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Flöha river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile and
drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
54

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
250
km 300
23
52
25
51
15
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
250
km 300
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
−1.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
5
1
1.44
−0.46 23
2
1.45 −0.42 52
3
0.8 −0.38 25
4
176 −18.9 51
5
22
−2.54 15
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
km 300
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.2
−0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
km 300
Fig. 2.4 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Schwarze Pockau river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River
profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep
slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the
river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
55

0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300km
30
51
26
37
14
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300km
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
−1.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
5
1
3.73 −0.77 30
2
2.29 −0.52 51
3
3.41 −0.67 26
4
39.8 −4.5 37
5
57.7
−6.13
14
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.15
−0.10
−0.05
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300km
Fig. 2.5 –
Longitudinal profile analysis of the Jöhstädter Schwarzwasser river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to
bottom: (1) River profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate
anomalously steep slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values
are reported on the river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
56

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
300
33
24
39
16
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
300
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
−1.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
1
1.56 −0.46 33
2
2.09 −0.53
24
3
150 −16.1 39
4
1.83 −0.51 16
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
300
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
0.00
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.10
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
300
Fig. 2.6 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Zschopau river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile
and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
57

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
km
250
11
41
24
51
10
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
km
250
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
5
1
1.71
−0.54
11
2
0.54 −0.32
41
3
1.4
−0.45
24
4
176 −18.9 51
5
181 −18.5 10
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km
250
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.10
−0.05
0.00
0.05
0.10
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km
250
Fig. 2.7 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Große Lößnitz river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River
profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep
slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the
river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
58

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
km250
22
46
18
14
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
km250
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
1
2.07 −0.54
22
2
98.8
−11.4
46
3
30.3 −3.5 18
4
57.8 −6.15
14
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km250
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.05
0.00
0.05
0.10
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km250
Fig. 2.8 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Zwönitz river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile
and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
59

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
km
16
52
13
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
km
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
1
0.36 −0.34 16
3
2
72.2
−8.37 52
3
75.5
−7.92 13
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.05
0.00
0.05
0.10
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km
Fig. 2.9 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Würschnitz river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile
and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
60

0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (3 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
km
11
62
20
35
14
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
km
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
−1.5
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
5
1
2.13 −0.61
11
2
0.99 −0.35 62
3
5.05 −0.86 20
4
10.4 −1.39 35
5
6.22 −0.96
14
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.4
−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
km
Fig. 2.10 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Schwarzwasser river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River
profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep
slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the
river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
61

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300km
19
63
20
36
17
Zwickauer Mulde
Mulde
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
250
300km
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
5
1
−0.22−0.26 19
2
6.32 −0.96 63
3
5.61 −0.92 20
4
11.2 −1.47
36
5
3.71 −0.7
17
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
b.l.3
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.2
−0.1
0.0
0.1
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300km
Fig. 2.11 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Zwickauer Mulde river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1)
River profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously
steep slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported
on the river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
62

−0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
km
26
34
12
19
15
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
SL index (10m)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
km
−5.0
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
3
4
5
1
7.93
−1.22
26
2
33.8 −4.03 34
3
20 −2.5
12
4
5.37 −0.86 19
5
−11.2
0.8
15
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.025
−0.020
−0.015
−0.010
−0.005
0.000
0.005
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
km
Fig. 2.12 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Pleiße river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile and
drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
63

0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
km
31
45
19
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
km
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
−1.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
1
1.57 −0.46 31
3
2
20.5 −2.45 45
3
1.91 −0.51 19
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
0.00
0.01
0.02
0.03
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
km
Fig. 2.13 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Göltzsch river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River profile
and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep slopes
and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the river
profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
64

−0.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
Elevation (km)
Vert. exageration x75 | Smoothed profile in blue (5 km moving average), original profile in grey.
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
20
29
19
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
Drainage area (sq.km)
0
100
200
300
400
500
SL index (10m)
0
10
20
30
40
SA index
15 km mov. win.
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
−4.5
−4.0
−3.5
−3.0
−2.5
−2.0
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
9.5
10.0
log(Area)
log(Slope)
1
2
1
0.95 −0.41 20
3
2
−5.65 0.32 29
3
3.88 −0.72 19
Int.
Slope
ksn
Best fitting curve(s) for specific base−level(s)
b.l.1
b.l.2
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
Offset between best fitting curve(s) and actual river profile
−0.10
−0.05
0.00
0.05
Elevation (km)
0
50
100
150
200
250
km
Fig. 2.14 – Longitudinal profile analysis of the Weiße Elster river. See location on Fig. 1.1. From top to bottom: (1) River
profile and drainage area. (2) Stream-length gradient (SL) and Slope-Area (SA) indices. Peak values indicate anomalously steep
slopes and knickpoints. (3) Regression of normalized steepness indices (k
sn
) on a slope-area plot. k
sn
values are reported on the
river profile. (4) Reconstruction of theoretical river profiles asociated to relict base-levels.
65