THE RUSTER HÜGELLAND: THE MOST EASTERLY ALPINE FOOTHILLS


The Ruster Hügelland (“Szarhalmer Forest“ in Hungary) is a narrow range of hills running parallel to Lake Neusiedl, which extends some 12 kilometres from Schützen am Gebirge in the north via Mörbisch am See to Fertörakós (Kroisbach) in Hungary. The highest elevation is Goldberg south of Schützen am Gebirge at 224 m. It was here in 1973 that a small nature reserve was established, with an area of 1 hectare. In addition, since 2000 Goldberg with its forelands has been a part of the Natura 2000 Lake Neusiedl-Seewinkel Area. In common with the Leitha Hills, the slopes of the Ruster Hügelland are considered as the most easterly foothills of the Alps.
The core of this range of hills consists of crystalline primary rock, sheathed in hardened tertiary shell limestone known locally as “Leithakalk”, lime sandstone and unconsolidated sediments. Only in a small number of places has the bedrock come to the surface. Here jagged, irregularly formed rock fragments in vineyards or on the forest floor reveal the underlying crystalline rock. In spite of its comparatively low height, the Ruster Hügelland forms an effective barrier against the bad weather fronts from the west. Hail storms are mostly diverted south-easterly towards Hungary, whilst thunderstorms as a rule move north-east, following the Leitha Hills.



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