EuroSpeleo 2016 Sessions

The Fuchslabyrinth Maze - a speleogenetic obstacle?

Session code: OE25

Oral / Exploration, Main EuroSpeleo Conference

Mr Michael Ross


The "Fuchslabyrinth" is a maze of 11 km of passages, located near Rothenburg ob der Tauber in southwestern Germany, in triassic limestone strata. The cave’s ceiling is covered by a layer of minimal permeability, therefore a very dry cave with minimal amount of formations evolved.

In contrast to the prevailing dense maze pattern of clay-filled fossil passages, an underlying active stream passage shows completely different and rather traditional, features.

After a brief introduction to the cave’s hydrological environment, the talk summarizes 40 years of exploration.

Centerpiece of the talk is a description of morphology and cave contents, leading to ideas about the speleogenesis of this unique cave system.

This includes a discussion about whether the maze pattern and underlying water passage are speleo-genetically separate caves.


Michael has explored caves in Germany since the mid 70's, focussed on caves in the triassian "Muschelkalk". His main focus lies on Germany's fourth longest cave.

He is also chair of the cave rescue foundation, which collected donations for the "Riesending" accident in 2014. Many UK cavers also contributed.


Michael Wasmund, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Hoehle und Karst Stuttgart