Formation of the majority of salt structures (classified as salt pillows, walls, and stocks) in north Germany is attributed to autonomous, isostatic movement (halokinesis) of the salt rather than to compressional tectonic forces. Migration of the salt began before the end of the lower Triassic and was essentially continuous throughout Mesozoic time; movement is continuing to some extent at present. The shape and size of the structures and of accompanying peripheral sinks were controlled primarily by the initial thickness of the Permian salt complex (more than 1,000 meters in the central part of the basin) and the weight of overlying strata. Stages in the development of the various structures are described and illustrated.

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