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Sand injectites are reported from a Miocene-age lignite seam in the Lower Rhine Embayment, which is exploited in the Garzweiler open-cast mine, Germany. Owing to the ongoing mining of the seam, the sand injectite morphology and extent were documented over a 3 year period. The combination of fieldwork, geophysical and drilling well data, as well as a 3D reconstruction of the host unit, reveal that the sand injectites within the Frimmersdorf Seam (= host unit) are highly variable, and include sills, dykes, reticulate (i.e. an interconnected network of thin sand veins) and irregular-shaped sand bodies. The injectites are connected to the underlying Frimmersdorf Sand or the overlying Neurath Sand (= parent sand units), or can be distributed throughout the seam. The differentiation of sand injectites from syn-depositional sand bodies is based on the orientation (discordant/concordant) and the presence of primary sedimentary structures in the latter. The prevailing stress field across the Lower Rhine Basin, and the coeval nature of fault activity, controlled the formation of sand injectites in the region. While such structures have been noted for over 30 years, this study is the first to provide a detailed analysis of these economically important features, including their classification, extent and morphology.

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