Selz

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For the psychologist, see Otto Selz.
For a town in Alsace, France, see Seltz.
For the French river known in German as Selz, see Seille (Moselle).
Selz
Verlaufskarte Selz.png
Origin Donnersbergkreis
Mouth Rhine at Ingelheim
49°59′45″N 8°1′33″E / 49.99583°N 8.02583°E / 49.99583; 8.02583Coordinates: 49°59′45″N 8°1′33″E / 49.99583°N 8.02583°E / 49.99583; 8.02583
Basin countries Germany
Length 63 km
Source elevation 321 m
Avg. discharge 0,77 m³/s
Basin area 375 km²

The Selz is a river in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, a left tributary to the Rhine. It flows through the biggest German wine region, which is called Rheinhessen.

It rises near the village Orbis in the Donnersbergkreis, passes the border from the Palatinate to Rheinhessen and after about 8 km the city of Alzey in the Alzey-Worms district. There the river passes a pond, and vanishes underground, flowing through the canalisation of the town. On their way she crosses Gau-Odernheim, Nieder-Olm and Ingelheim, finally discharging in Frei-Weinheim into the Rhine.

Its 375 km² comprising watershed is determined by warm dry climate showing an average yearly precipitation around 500 mm. Despite its slender, in many cases irregular water flow conditions, the Selz is regarded as receiving stream of the low rainfall area of the rheinhessian rolling country. During low water periods the discharge consists to a notable amount out of clean effluents of wastewater treating plants.

Environmental restoration[edit]

Some decades of the 20th century were characterized by river straightening throughout the rivers and creeks in Germany. Due to this river training in the years between 1958–1963, the Selz creek is constricted between embankments and flows relative meandering through the plain, between the famous rolling hills of Rheinhessen. In order to stop river bed degradation and to improve both, biodiversity and flood protection, the local nature conservation foundation (Selztalverband) and the district Mainz-Bingen managed a revitalization of the Selz over a notale length between Hahnheim, Undenheim and Sörgenloch.

Loss of floodplain and shorter river reaches caused higher flood peaks and risk of flood in the past. Some floods near disaster were the reason for a restoration concept. The concept contains flood protection, river bed stabilization and renaturation measures. The main objectives are:

  • flood protection for HQ100
  • improvement of the ecological situation
  • stabilizing river bed/erosion control
  • stabilizing groundwater level

Floodplains have been increased between 50 to 100 meter width. Nature is allowed to develop undisturbed in biotopes, which protect and promote the biodiversity of the landscape with its meadows, trenches, bank slopes, marsh areas, wetland, phragmites, willows, hedges and boundary ridges. During the past 25 years, the village of Hahnheim has planted 27000 trees and hedges along the Selz in its boundary.

Since the Selz renaturation project covers several miles of the Selz River's bank, it is increasing the total length of the river.

From Origin to Mouth[edit]

Selz spring in Orbis
Selz spring with attached Kneipp hydrotherapy basin in February 2007
the first meters are hard

The following villages and towns are located at the Selz:

Cycling along the Selz[edit]

Course of the Selz, fence of the spring

A signposted cycle track along the Selz creek, the Selztalradweg, uses partially two old railway tracks of the Amiche and Zuckerlottche. Both railway tracks have an asphaltic surface. Sometimes a cycle path directly along the water bed may be used, as long as the weather is dry. Both ways proceed in parts under high trees, sheltering from the hot sun.

External links[edit]