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Educational Trail Rotava

Kaolin Pits

Situation map

“Kaolin Pits” are located at a forest crossroads to the east below Varhany. The landscape here is flat as a table. When you dig deeper into the ground, you often find white or gray kaolin clay. Boulders hard granite and quartz stick up the kaolin islets. Kaolin is formed by weathering of granites in the older Tertiary period. By the effect of wet conditions and humid acids under forests and savannas in the subtropical climate, solid feldspars in the rock have been transformed into a soft clay mineral kaolinite.

Such weathered granite can squash in your hand. The greater part of clayey weathered granite was washed away shortly after its origin. Only discontinuous islets weakly kaolinized granites in the bottom of weathering horizon are preserved to this day. The landscape, which is the result of an incredibly long period of weathering and planation, is technically known as etchplain. Kaolinized rocks also reveal the presence of tectonically crushed zones. In such places reached the weathering processes in much greater depths. This is also the case of “Kaolin Pits” in Rotava, which are stretched in the direction north-south.

The shallow pits left over from the mining of pottery grade kaolin are colonized by a wetland community of plants and animals. On the way to the next stop, funnel-shaped pits are visible on both sides of the road. These pits have nothing to do with kaolin, but originated by digging of iron ore. Along the road passes a group of quartz veins containing hematite. Flooded pits are probably collapsed shallow shafts from the period of the beginnings of iron ore mining in the Rotava area.

Useful information

This text was written by Petr Rojík.

GPS position

N 50° 18.274', E 12° 34.550'