LIAG / Institute / Focus Research Topics / Geohazards 

Geohazards

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis – geoscientific topics are frequently only noticed by the public when they cause lasting, often catastrophic changes near to or on the Earth’s surface. Because geohazards of this kind can significantly affect or alter our environment, they deserve particular consideration in geoscientific research. They also pose a substantial risk of economic loss. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake (Japan) resulted in a tsunami and consequently the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. The Munich Reinsurance Company have estimated the total damage caused at 210 billion dollars for this one event alone. This shows that geohazards can have far-reaching consequences.

When the earth surface moves

Geological structures are the result of geological developments that often lasted many millions of years. Most of the associated changes are barely noticeable or entirely imperceptible to humans. This is due to the speed with which they happen or the great depth at which they take place. However, some geological processes pose a potential risk to infrastructure or even human life that should not be underestimated. Changes connected to geohazards of this type often happen slowly at first, and we frequently have scant knowledge of their location in the subsurface. LIAG addresses the further development and the use of geophysical methods to improve the identification of suspected sites, visualise structures with more precision and record processes better. Current research focuses on the areas of neotectonics and faults and subrosion. On the one hand, the researchers conduct basic research, but on the other hand, the knowledge gained is also intended to support political decision-makers in the form of recommendations for action to prepare for future hazards and to take precautionary measures. In many projects, there is close cooperation with universities, research institutes and local specialised institutions, among others.

 

Current focus research

Current projects

  • Fault activities at the Osning Lineament  
    Research on the neotectonic development of the Osning lineament at the Teutoburg Forest, Germany.
  • LUNAR - the last pulse 
    Age determination of recent deformations in the Alps with ESR thermochronometry (Priority Programme "4D-MB" of the German Geophysical Society)
  • Periadriatic
    Identification of fossil fault activity along the eastern Periadriatic fault system by combined luminescence and ESR dating of fault grooves (north-eastern Italy, southern Austria and northern Slovenia, Priority Programme "4D-MB" of the German Geophysical Society)
  • DOVE
    Research on climate and landscape changes in the entire Alpine region (international large-scale project ICDP)

 

Current publications

  • Airborne electromagnetic, magnetic and radiometric surveys at the German North Sea coast applied to groundwater and soil investigations. - Remote Sensing, 12, 1629.
    2020, SIEMON, B., IBS-VON SEHT, M, STEUER, A., DEUS, N. & WIEDERHOLD, H.
  • Coupled magnetic resonance and electrical resistivity tomography: An open-source toolbox for surface nuclear-magnetic resonance. - GEOPHYSICS 85 (3), F53-F64.
    2020, SKIBBE, R., ROCHLITZ, R., GÜNTHER, T., MÜLLER-PETKE, M.
  • Monitoring freshwater-saltwater interfaces with SAMOS - installation effects on data and inversion. - Near Surface Geophysics, 18(4): 369-383.
    2020, RONCZKA, M., GÜNTHER, T., GRINAT, M. & WIEDERHOLD, H.

Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Gerald Gabriel
+49 511 643-3510