The ice-age outcrop of Donderen - hotspots

Three ice ages exposed in outcrop Donderen

The steeply-sided soil profile near Donderen is a relic of former sand excavations. It can best be described as a richly-illustrated history book, showing the geological development of the province of Drenthe over a period of more than 400,000 years. In 2012 the soil profile was acknowedged by the province of Drenthe as a geological monument. The nearby information panel provides excellent, detailed information about the ice ages in Drenthe. 

The outcrop with sand beds from three different ice ages, the white sand of the Elster at the bottom

A glimpse into geological history

The geological monument at Donderen is a relic of a former sand quarry, situated at the southeast edge of the Zuideresch. Because the quarrying took place on the relatively high-lying Ridge of Rolde, cutting into the ridge itself, a steep bank several metres high remained behind. This soil profile now provides us with a fascinating glimpse into the geological history, the ice ages and evolution of the surface of Drenthe.


The Donderen sand pit is part of a walking tour around the ancient town of Vries. Along this path a number of historic landmarks are highlighted.

Location data

Co-ordinates: 53°05’31.6″N 6°33’41.1″E

The ice-age outcrop of Donderen