Dr. (postdoc) Christoph Glotzbach


Universität Tübingen


Schnarrenbergstr. 94-96

72076 Tübingen

Büro: Raum 3U33, GUZ

Phone: +49-(0)7071-29-78949

Email: christoph.glotzbach(at)uni-tuebingen.de

Research interests

Dr. Glotzbach’s research encompasses a combination of analytical methods (thermochronology, cosmogenic nuclides) and numerical simulations aiming to reconstruct and better understand the complex interrelations at the Earth’s surface, the interface of the geo-, hydro- and biosphere. Tectonic, climate and Earth’s surface processes exhibit important interactions, which potentially regulate Earth’s climate system on short- to long-term scales. Changes of the general conditions, such as the human impact on the climate system (e.g. increased CO2 release in the atmosphere) led to positive and negative feedbacks. Relations and feedbacks are often not well understood, primarily because of the complexity of the system, the limited temporal-spatial resolution of anthropogenic records and the component specific response times. In this regard, a particular challenge is the evaluation of Climate Change and the calculation of reliable climate scenarios for the 21st century. A better process understanding of the interactions among the involved components of the System Earth is therefore an important socioecologic research aim.

Dr. Glotzbach applies analytical methods (cosmogenic nuclides, thermochronology) to quantify local to regional (centimetre-scale to orogen-wide) movements near or at Earth’s surface at millennial to Myr-scales. Results hold important information about spatial- and temporal variations of influencing boundary conditions, such as tectonic and climate changes. Incorporation of these analytical data into thermo-kinematic and geomorphological numerical models enables to test possible scenarios or quantify the relative impact of temporal-variable tectonic and climate boundary conditions. Moreover Dr. Glotzbach work on the improvement of methods for the interpretation of analytical data, especially the application and implementation of numerical methods.

Running research projects

1. DFG-funded project: Quantifying fluvial and glacial erosion using detrital thermochronology, cosmogenic nuclides and numerical modelling: a case study in the European Alps (since 2013, applicant: C. Glotzbach)
2. DFG-funded project: Landscape evolution and exhumation history during active continental extension: the Menderes Massif in western Turkey – Part 2: Application of low-temperature thermochronometry (since 2015, applicants: C. Glotzbach, R. Hetzel, A. Hampel, A. Wölfler)
3. DFG-funded project: Contemporary and long-term erosion in a pristine African Savanna, Kruger National Park, Republic of South Africa, (since 2014, applicants: Dr. J. Baade, C. Glotzbach, Prof. K. Rowntree)


Dr. Glotzbach is running the thermochronology lab at the Geoscience Departement. This includes a Autoscan and Dumitru microscope system for fission track dating and a He-line for (U-Th)/He dating.

Scientific career

Since Jan 2016

Research scientist (Akad. Rat), Eberhard Karls University Tübingen

June 2010 to Dec 2015

Junior-Professor for Neotectonic/Tectonic Geomorphology at the Institute of Geology, Leibniz University Hannover

Oct 2008 to May 2010

Post-Doc position at the University Joseph Fourier Grenoble, France Study subject: Topographic evolution of the European Alps in the Neogene, forced by coupled climatic/tectonic processes (as part of Thermo-Europe within the Eurocores Topo-Europe project) Coordinated by: Prof. Peter van der Beek, Dr. Matthias Bernet

Aug 2005 to July 2008

PhD-student at the University of Tübingen, Germany Thesis title: Exhumation history of the external crystalline massifs in the European Alps: constraints from thermochronology along tunnel transects. Coordinated by: Prof. Cornelia Spiegel, Prof. Wolfgang Frisch

June 2005

Diploma in Geology, University of Münster, Germany Thesis title: Evaluation of multispectral, -sensoral and -temporal satellite data in terms of their geological significance exemplified on the intracratonic Amadeus Basin, Finke Gorge National Park (Australia) Coordinated by: Prof. Lutz Bischoff, Dr. Thorsten Prinz

Oct 1999 to June 2005

Study of Geology at the University of Münster, Germany

Selected Publications

Glotzbach C. (2015) Deriving rock uplift histories from data-driven inversion of river profiles. Geology.
Glotzbach C., J. Braun, P. van der Beek (2015) A Fourier approach for estimating and correcting the topographic perturbation of low-temperature thermochronological data. Tectonophysics.
Reiter W., S. Elfert, C. Glotzbach, C. Spiegel (2015) Plio-Pleistocene evolution of the north-Alpine drainage system: New constraints from detrital thermochronology of foreland deposits. International Journal of Earth Science, doi:10.10007/s00531-014-1114-6.
Glotzbach C., C. Brandes (2014) Air density of the Permian atmosphere: Constraints from lithified raindrop imprints. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 409, 280-289.
Glotzbach C., M. Röttjer, A. Hampel, R. Hetzel, P.W. Kubik (2014) Quantifying the impact of former glaciation on catchment-wide erosion rates derived from cosmogenic 10Be. Terra Nova, doi:10.1111/ter.12085.
Buscher J.T, A. Hampel, R. Hetzel, I. Dunkl, C. Glotzbach, A. Struffert, C. Akal, M. Rätz (2013) Quantifying rates of detachment faulting and erosion in the central Menderes Massif (western Turkey) by thermochronology and cosmogenic 10Be. Journal of the Geological Society, London, 170, 669-683.
Glotzbach C., P. van der Beek, J. Carcaillet, R. Delunel (2013) Deciphering the driving forces of erosion rates on millennial to million-year timescales in glacially impacted landscapes: An example from the Western Alps. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 118, doi:10.1002/jgrf.20107.
Reiter W., S. Elfert, C. Glotzbach, M. Bernet, C. Spiegel (2013) Relations between denudation, glaciation, and sediment deposition: implications from the Plio-Pleistocene Central Alps. Basin Research, doi:10.1111/bre.12023.
Braun J., P. van der Beek, P. Valla, X. Robert, F. Herman, C. Glotzbach, V. Pedersen, C. Perry, T. Simon-Labric, C. Prigent (2012) Quantifying rates of landscape evolution and tectonic processes by thermochronology and numerical modeling of crustal heat transport using PECUBE. Tectonophysics 524-525, 1-28.
Presser V., C. Glotzbach, J.I. Garver, C. Berthold (2012) Combined µ-XRF and µ-Raman analysis: A rapid method to characterize radiation damage in zircon. In ‘Zircon and Olivine: Characteristics, Types and Uses’. Edited by Van Dijk G., V. Van den Berg. Nova Publishers, Hauppauge, 93-109.
Glotzbach C., M. Bernet, P. van der Beek (2011) Detrital thermo­chrono­lo­gy records changing source and steady exhumation in the European Western Alps. Geology39, 239-242.
Glotzbach, C., P. van der Beek, C. Spiegel (2011) Episodic exhumation and relief growth in the Mont Blanc massif, Western Alps from numerical modelling of thermochronology data. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 304, 417-430.
Danišík M., J. Kadlec, C. Glotzbach, A. Weisheit, I. Dunkl, M. Kohút, N.J. Evans, M. Orvošová, B.J. McDonald B.J. (2011) Tracing metamorphism, exhumation and topographic evolution in orogenic belts by multiple thermochronology: a case study from the Nízke Tatry Mts, Western Carpathians. Swiss Journal of Geosciences104, 285-298.
Glotzbach C., J. Reinecker, M. Danišík, M. Rahn, W. Frisch, C. Spiegel (2010) Thermal history of the Central Gotthard and Aar massifs (European Alps): Evidence for long-term exhumational steady-state. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 115, F03017, doi:10.1029/2009JF001304.
Glotzbach C., C. Spiegel, J. Reinecker, M. Rahn, W. Frisch (2009) What perturbs isotherms? An assessment using fission track thermochronology and thermal modelling along the Gotthard transect, Central Alps. In ’Thermochronological methods: from paleotemperature constraints to landscape evolution models’. Edited by Lisker F., B. Ventura, U. Glasmacher. Geological Society of London, Specical Publication 324, 111-124.
Glotzbach C., J. Reinecker, M. Danišík, M. Rahn, W. Frisch, C. Spiegel (2008) Neogene exhumation history of the Mont Blanc massif, Western Alps. Tectonics27, TC4011, doi:10.1029/2007TC002247.
Presser V., C. Glotzbach (2008) Metamictization in zircon: Raman investigation following a Rietveld approach. Part II: Sampling depth implication and experimental data. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, doi:10.1002/jrs.2154.
Reinecker J., M. Danišík, C. Schmid, C. Glotzbach, M. Rahn, W. Frisch, C. Spiegel (2008) Tectonic control on the late stage exhumation of the Aar Massif (Switzerland): Constraints from apatite fission track and (U-Th)/He data. Tectonics, doi:10.1029/2007TC002247.