Our research interests focus on quantifying the structure, composition, and processes active within the Earth’s interior and surface. Our goals include a better understanding of:
- Fluid-Rock Interactions: The interaction between terrestrial waters with the Earth’s surface and subsurface ranging from hydrothermal ore deposits to the erosion of mountains and landscape development.
- Magma System Processes: Quantification of physical and chemical processes active in deep magmatic and dynamic volcanic systems around world. Specific areas of interest include mass transport in magmatic systems, degassing, and the composition and texture of igneous rocks.
- Environmental Change: The evolution of Earth’s surface and atmosphere. Our interests range from the development of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere and its implications for early life to paleoclimate modelling and the evolution of mountain topography.
- Earth Structure and Deformation: Investigation of the processes that shape continents from the smallest fold to the whole mountain. Specific interest range from computer modelling and field studies aimed at understanding the evolution of ancient orogens and active tectonic processes.
- Materials: Quantifying the structure and properties of nonmetallic-inorganic materials and their behaviour in natural and technical environments.
The previous research themes are investigated through an interdisciplinary cooperation of several work groups in our department. These groups include:
- Applied Mineralogy (Prof. Klaus G. Nickel)
- Experimental Mineralogy (Prof. Marcus Nowak)
- Petrology and Mineral Ressources (Prof. Gregor Markl)
- Structural Geology (Prof. Paul Bons)
- Earth System Dynamics (Prof. Todd Ehlers)
- Glaciology & Geophysics (Jr.-Prof. Reinhard Drews)
Isotope Geochemistry (Prof. Ronny Schönberg)
Research tools and techniques used in these groups range of state-of-the-science computer models, remote sensing, geo- and thermochronology, and analytical techniques such as X-ray diffractometry, electron microprobe analyses, IR- and Ramanspectroscopy and gas-, solid- and plasma-source mass spectrometry.