From geosciences to geophysics – LIAG PhD student Katharina Leu has succeeded in starting her career after graduation. Since October 1, 2020, she is doing her PhD in Rock Physics & Borehole Geophysics and evaluating geophysical borehole measurements within the ICDP project "JET" (Integrated Understanding of the Early Jurassic Earth System and Timescale). In DGG's newsletter series "Meet the Geophysicist" she tells more about her career, her decisions and experiences before and during her studies and gives tips for the subsequent career entry.
Read more (German)
How can we imagine the Cretaceous period in Lower Saxony, Rehburg - how far exactly did the inland sea extend at that time and what did the coastal region look like where the dinosaurs lived? Geophysicists from LIAG are measuring the properties of the sediments in a 180-meter-deep borehole drilled by the State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology (LBEG) in Rehburg in the Nehrenbruch, near the Steinhuder Meer, in January to help answer these questions, among others.
According to the current state of research, the eastern Periadriatic Fault System (PAF), on the border between the Eastern and Southern Alps, shows barely any historical and instrumental earthquakes - although it is one of the most important tectonic features of the Alps. In this new project, the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG) and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena are now using new dating methods, which for the first time will allow the most recent geological fault activities to be revealed.
Full press release
How will you “Shape the Future of Science?” The American Geophysical Union (AGU) asks this question at its world's largest geoscience conference. This year's conference will take place virtually from December 1 to 17 – LIAG is involved in the organization of a session on the topic "Astronomical forcing and Past Climate Cycles" (Dr. Christian Zeeden). LIAG researchers will also give various thematic presentations.
The Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG) officially appoints Prof. Dr. Manfred Frechen as acting director by resolution of its Governing Board. Prof. Dr. Gerald Gabriel takes over his previous position as deputy director. Both are currently in charge of the research areas "Geochronology" and "Seismics and Potential Methods" at the institute.
‘Leibniz in State Parliament‘ takes place on 10 and 11 November 2020. This dialogue format enables researchers at Leibniz institutions in Lower Saxony to discuss current issues and challenges in research and policy with members of the state parliament and allows both groups to be apprised of new developments. As a guest institute, LIAG provides information on topics such as the status of groundwater using innovative, drone based geophysics with regard to drought, drought and salinization or geological hazards - because sinkholes and earthquakes also affect Lower Saxony.
Dr. Sarah Hupfer receives the award of the Wolfgang Helms Foundation of the TU Clausthal for her dissertation on solution processes in carbonates! With her work she conducted important basic research for a better understanding of subrosion-related processes, such as sinkholes, and their risk assessment. She was supervised at LIAG by Dr. Matthias Halisch, at TU Clausthal by Prof. Dr. Andreas Weller and at TU Berlin by Prof. Dr. Sabine Kruschwitz.
From September 22-30, a helicopter operated by the project partner BGR as part of the DESMEX II project flew in the Harz Mountains to explore the difficult to develop ore deposits by means of electromagnetic measurements. With the data LIAG will develope a new program system for very complex data processing and visualization in a 3-D model. Scientists at LIAG and WWU Münster have also fed heavy currents into the underground for the measurements and supplement the measurements from the air with ground stations. UAV flights are also planned in the project.
To project website
DGG presents its ground-breaking history of 100 years and takes a look into geophysical research fields for the upcoming years. LIAG is also visible.
On the 7th and 8th September, the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG) initiated a two-day workshop to discuss its future line of research with 11 external scientists who have a proven expertise in geoscientific topics and geophysics. The event was opened by Dr. Berend Lindner, State Secretary of the Lower Saxony Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour, Transport and Digitalisation.
Potentials of geothermal energy: Prof. Dr. Inga Moeck, line manager at LIAG, presented the current research project "mesoTherm" to interested guests from federal politics at the Parliamentary Evening of the German Geothermal Energy Association and the German Renewable Energy Federation. The joint project mesoTherm (University of Göttingen, GTN and LIAG) is linked to the project IW3, in which Hamburg Energie is implementing the integrated heat turnaround in Hamburg Wilhelmsburg. Together, these partner projects, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, are making an important contribution to the energy turnaround in northern Germany.
To mesoTherm project
A new drone at the LIAG will in future simplify the exploration of underground structures and promote the large-scale collection of data for the investigation of groundwater systems. A new geophysical method is to be developed with which the institute can distinguish itself as a partner in the field of geophysics by using drones.
Dr. Christian Zeeden is now part of the editorial board of "Quaternary Geochronology" - a prestigious international journal dedicated to publishing high quality articles on dating methods applicable to the Quaternary period. This is a prestigious opportunity for the LIAG scientist to advocate and constructively ensure best scientific practice.
View the Editorial Board
Understanding deep geothermal energy: The Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics has developed an interactive e-learning on deep geothermal energy over a period of three years and published it on the website of the Geothermal Information System (GeotIS). It is available free of charge.
Raphael Rochlitz successfully defended his doctoral thesis with the title "Analysis and open-source Implementation of Finite Element Modelling techniques for Controlled-Source Electromagnetics" at the WWU Münster on July 15th. Congratulations! In his Phd thesis he investigated and revised existing finite-element approaches to simulate controlled-source electromagnetic data in frequency- and time-domain and had developed open-source the Python toolbox custEM.
Understanding climate dynamics: The project "Loess/palaeosol soil successions in Northern Iran and their paleoclimatic importance" has come to a successful conclusion. The results close a gap in the knowledge of Iranian loesses in an outstanding way, according to the concluding DFG review.
How do seismic measurements actually work for the exploration of groundwater-bearing strata? Dr. Helga Wiederhold and her project team show in a video about their recent measurements in Sülldorf how their research looks like in application, what has to be considered and which unexpected guests the geophysicists can accompany during their research.
LIAG and OOWV cooperate for sustainable groundwater management. Scientists of the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG) have installed for the first time a saltwater monitoring system (SAMOS) on the Spiekeroog Island in cooperation with the Oldenburgisch-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband (OOWV).
The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding a longer-term cooperation between the LIAG and the China University of Geosciences in Beijing with the approval of a new application for research into cyclic sediment sequences.
New solutions during corona restrictions: The Joint Meeting 2020 of the Japan Geoscience Union, which is organizing the conference together with the American Geophysical Union this year, will take place completely online. The LIAG was also present - Dr. Sumiko Tsukamoto gave her invited lecture on July 14th via Zoom on the dating of disturbances using the methods luminescence and electron spin resonance. Exemplary results on the Japanese perturbation Atotsugawa and a preliminary result of the dating of a Swiss perturbation Simplon were presented to about 60 persons.
To the interactive iposter
Dating gut strings of early plucked instruments with the electron spin resonance method (ESR) - this was achieved for the first time by LIAG scientist Dr. Sumiko Tsukamoto. In the field of music, she thus provided important information for early European plucked instruments such as baroque guitars or harp lutes from the 19th century.
New solutions during corona restrictions: The Joint Meeting 2020 of the Japan Geoscience Union, which is organizing the conference together with the American Geophysical Union this year, will take place completely online. The LIAG was also present - Dr. Sumiko Tsukamoto gave her invited lecture on July 14th via Zoom on the dating of disturbances using the methods luminescence and electron spin resonance. Exemplary results on the Japanese perturbation Atotsugawa and a preliminary result of the dating of a Swiss perturbation Simplon were presented. About 60 persons attended the lecture. The joint meeting was officially held in Chiba, Japan, but due to corona security measures, this year's meeting was held exclusively virtually from 12-16 July.
To the interactive iposter
An international team of Geoscientists met in the middle of October in the city of Xi’an (China) for a workshop in preparation of a potential large-scale scientific project. The “International Scientific Drilling Programme” (ICDP) supports scientists to conduct international drilling projects. The international teams solve questions of high societal relevance, such as the past climate development. One of the next scientific wells might be drilled in central China, in the so-called Weihe basin. The drill is supposed to be about 7,500 m deep, in order to understand the palaeo-climate of the past 50 Mio years in detail. Two scientists of the LIAG have been involved in the workshop, and may join the drilling project. Their contribution would be knowledge in the field of cyclostratigraphy, which gives information upon age and sedimentation rates of rocks. Additionally, petrophysical investigations, by using especially the method of spectral induced polarization, which has been never utilized for ICDP projects before, have been proposed as potential project work.
Scientists from different German universities and research institutes have met at the beginning of October in Hannover, in order to talk and to discuss about new methodical and technical developments in the field of induced polarization. At the workshop, which was organized by LIAG staff, new methodical approaches to explore water-rock interactions were introduced. Furthermore, results of a time-domain IP field survey, which is amongst others used to investigate groundwater pollution, have been discussed. The working group IP of the German Geophysical Society meets half-yearly. These meetings are used for scientific exchange and networking, as well as especially for the strategic and content alignment of this methodical research field.
Within the framework of the Bund-Länder Initiative for the support of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), higher education institutions, non-university research institutions, sector research institutions and other publicly-funded information infrastructure institutions have the opportunity to join together in thematically/methodologically oriented consortia in order to submit a joint application for funding. The selection procedure is organised by the DFG. As early as 4 July 2019, LIAG submitted an expression of interest for a geology/geophysics consortium to the DFG, after it became clear that no other NFDI consortium emphazises on geological/geophysical data of the upper Earth crust.
On 9th of October, 2019, a kick-off meeting took place in the Geocentre Hannover under the lead of the LIAG to gather interested institutions with geological/geophysical data of the Earth crust. 21 representatives from universities, non-academic research institutions and geological surveys participated to exchange information about the existing research data infrastructure of the various geological/geophysical sub-disciplines and to discuss objectives and further steps for a geological/geophysical NFDI consortium.
The participants agreed in the necessity of a NFDI for the solid Earth crust, which is complementary to the climate research in Earth Sciences. As a first result, a new name was voted on. The preliminary "NFDI for Solid Earth" becomes "NFDI Lithosphere". In contrast to many other NFDI consortia, this consortium is still open for further members. The next meeting is scheduled for January 2020 in Hannover.
The working group on induced polarization meets twice a year. It consists of researchers from twelve different universities and research institutes. Induced polarization was originally developed for the exploration of ore deposits. By applying an electric current, an electric field is generated, and should expand unhindered in the subsurface. Sometimes metallic mineral grains block the pore space and therefore the flow paths of the electric current. The electrical charge accumulates in some areas and forms a kind of pattern. The researches can measure this electrical information and deduce, for example, whether the underground contains ores or contaminated sites or whether the groundwater is polluted. Matthias Halisch (LIAG) is hosting this year’s AK meeting at the Geozentrum Hannover. More than 12 presentations and as many scientific posters are waiting for the attendees of the meeting in October. Basic research will be discussed in the working group as well as questions of application or technical innovations.
About 2.6 million years ago, the peaks and valleys of the Alps were much higher. However, the advancing glaciers first eroded deep into the bedrock during different ice ages. The overdeepened valleys were filled with different sediments at the same time. Within the framework of the DOVE project, researchers from the LIAG and other partners will to use these sediments to draw conclusions on the climate history of the Alps. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the researchers will try to understand the valleys using core drillings. In order to provide the best possible information about the various glacial events, researchers need to know exactly where they have to drill. At this moment, with the help of the seismic method, employees from LIAG are clarifying this question in Basadingen, Switzerland. Using various seismic measuring methods, they look as deep as possible into the underground of the valleys to find the best location for drilling next year.
At the end of August, the partners of the DESMEX II project met to start the three-year project. The follow-up project to DESMEX I, is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and intends to use electromagnetic methods in order to find deposits of ores and critical minerals at depths of more than 500 metres. So far, there are only limited methods to reliably explore deposits at greater depths. In the DESMEX project, the partners from science, public administration and industry developed sensors to measure the electromagnetic fields generated in the ground more accurately. In order to obtain the most comprehensive image possible, the sensors will be mounted on helicopters, including drones, and flown over areas several square kilometers in size. The LIAG researchers are developing algorithms to reconstruct a precise image of the subsurface from the measured data. In the new project phase, the focus will be on applying the developed sensors and algorithms, refining them and making them ready for practical use.
Dust storms are quite common in India. Repeatedly, the wind carries large quantities of dust into the Asian country, sometimes across long distances. There have also been dust storms in India thousands of years ago, making them suitable for reconstructing local climate history. If the climate is rather warm and humid, thick soils form. If, on the other hand, it is cold and dry, the dust remains a loose and gray/ochre sediment. Christian Zeeden (LIAG) has recently travelled to Kashmir to take sediment samples together with colleagues from the University of Kashmir. In the laboratory they will determine how old the samples are and under which climatic conditions they have deposited. If these initial studies are promising, Zeeden and his colleagues intend to collect comprehensive data from northern India in order to compare the climate development of the region with surrounding Central Asia.
In March 2019, the joint IODP and ICDP Colloquium took place in Cologne/Germany. The colloquium was a meeting place for those geoscientists who are drilling on the seabed, on land, or in lakes around the world and who are using drill cores to study the origin and climate of planet Earth. During this conference, two science journalists interviewed Dr. Thomas Burschil (LIAG) about his work on overdeepened valleys using the example of the Lienz Basin. Valleys like the one in East Tyrol have been filled with sediments since the last cold period. Originally, some Alpine valleys were much deeper than they are today. The result of the interview has now been published on the planeterde® website.
About 70,000 years ago, Neanderthals lived in Wendland, on the border with Saxony-Anhalt. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology were able to identify them using tool finds. However, why did the Neanderthals settle so far north, while large parts of northern Europe were covered by ice? The scientists assume that the Neanderthals lived near a lake that was fed by the water of the River Elbe during the Pleistocene. The Max Planck Institute asked LIAG and LBEG for support to investigate the geological structure of the site. With the help of auger and core drillings, the geoscientists are investigating the lake and want to unlock its secrets: How often did the lake dry out? What living conditions had the Neanderthals on the lake shore? And for how long could they rely on stable conditions?
Not all questions have been answered yet. In autumn, further drilling will be carried out to learn more about the living conditions of the Neanderthals in Wendland 70,000 years ago.
For the last four years, Sarah Hupfer worked on her dissertation in the junior research group "Subrosion" at the LIAG. At the beginning of July, she submitted her completed doctoral thesis to the Clausthal Technical University and is now waiting for her oral defense. In the subproject "Petrophysics" she investigated the transport and dissolution processes that take place in carbonate rocks (limestones). Among other things, she used the "Spectral Induced Polarization" (SIP) method. With her doctoral thesis, Sarah Hupfer is doing basic scientific research. She used the SIP method to determine systematically the complex electrical properties of different carbonate types for the first time. This basic knowledge of limestone is an important key component that will enable researchers to predict better future subrosion processes in which the subsoil is leached and becomes unstable.
The LIAG congratulates Sarah Hupfer on her completed dissertation and wishes her every success in her defense.
See more: https://www.leibniz-liag.de/forschung/projekte/haushaltsprojekte/gesteinsphysik-subrosion.html
In the province of Xinjiang in northwestern China, the ground is burning. This is because coal mining repeatedly leads to coal fires. The coal is located relatively close to the surface and is particularly reactive. Improper handling brings it in contact with atmospheric oxygen, so that the coal ignites spontaneously. Once it burns in the ground, the fires are difficult to extinguish, as the fire is constantly supplied with oxygen through self-generated cracks. On the surface one recognizes hidden fires by factors like temperature increases, gas leaks and changes in the electromagnetic properties of the subsurface. With the help of numerical modeling, researchers want to understand how coal fires arise, spread and can be extinguished efficiently. Dr. Manfred Wuttke (LIAG) introduced Chinese colleagues to the possibilities of geophysical exploration and numerical modeling of coal fires at a joint German-Chinese workshop at the University of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. This workshop is part of the XJU-LIAG Joint Center for Underground Coal Fire Research. Next year, a return visit of the Chinese scientists to another international workshop in Hanover is planned.
Sumiko Tsukamoto (LIAG) conducts researches on the age determination of sediments and rocks using luminescence and electron spin resonance dating. Such age determinations are important to understand the temporal changes of climate, for example the age and duration of cold and warm periods, in different regions of the world. The scientists of this research field meet regularly at conferences all over the world. However, there is yet no organization through which the community can network and advance common goals. The scientific community will change this and found the "Trapped Charge Dating Association (TCDA)". The members of the working group recently elected Sumiko Tsukamoto (LIAG) as Chair. She thus bears the decisive responsibility for the formation of the professional association.
See more: http://ancienttl.org/TCDA/TCDA.htm
The geologist Mauricio Muñoz from the Andean Geothermal Center of Excellence (CEGA) of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago de Chile is working as a guest scientist at LIAG for three months. The researcher, who has already received an award for his scientific and social commitment, is investigating the geothermal potential of the Magellan Basin in Patagonia in southern Chile. Muñoz benefits from the existing cooperation between the two research institutions and from LIAG's experience with the similar Southern German molasse basin.
[Translate to Englisch:]
Die Planungen für die 11. Nordddeutsche Geothermietagung im GEOZENTRUM Hannover laufen auf Hochtouren. Am 15. Mai 2019 treffen sich wieder Fachleute aus Unternehmen, Behörden und Forschung zur wichtigsten Veranstaltung der Branche in Norddeutschland. Diesmal steht die Tiefe Geothermie im Blickpunkt. Unter dem Motto „Stellschrauben für eine zukunftsfähige Tiefe Geothermie“ diskutieren Expertinnen und Experten über die Frage: Welche Konzepte versprechen Erfolg, um die Tiefe Geothermie in Norddeutschland zu einer marktfähigen Energieform zu entwickeln.
Nico Skibbe is a PhD student at LIAG and develops a software for the evaluation of surface NMR. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has long been used to visualize underground structures or water without drilling holes. So far, changes in more than one direction can only be accounted for using proprietary software and their capabilities are limited. Changes to the left and right of the measurement often had to be neglected, using the previous evaluation programs. With the new program, this is no longer necessary. The idea was awarded the Paper Prize at the SAGEEP Conference, a major international conference on applied geophysics. Thanks to the award, Nico Skibbe has the chance to present his idea at the Near Surface Geoscience Conference and Exhibition in The Hague in September.
[Translate to Englisch:]
Aus der südkoreanischen Hauptstadt Seoul bekam das LIAG Mitte Februar Besuch. Drei Mitarbeiterinnen der Arbeitsgruppe „Energie-Ingenieurwesen und mineralische Ressourcen“ besuchten das LIAG, um die Petrophysik-Labore zu besichtigen. Die Besucherinnen der Sejong University interessieren sich für die aktuellen Forschungsthemen im Bereich induzierte Polarisation. Das LIAG freut sich auf einen weiteren Austausch mit den asiatischen Kolleginnen und Kollegen.
[Translate to Englisch:]
Zum dreizehnten Mal findet in Offenburg die GeoTHERM statt, eine von Deutschlands größten Fachmessen zum Thema Geothermie. Die Forscherinnen und Forscher der Sektion S4 „Geothermik und Informationssysteme“ werden auch in diesem Jahr das Institut mit Postern und Vorträgen am Infostand des LIAG vertreten. Besuchen Sie uns gerne an unserem Stand 113/Ortenauhalle auf der GeoTHERM 2019.
The sustainable use of water resources is a particular challenge in coastal regions worldwide. Salinisation can endanger the groundwater and thus the drinking water supply. For a long-term study of the freshwater-saltwater boundary in the subsurface, LIAG employees recently installed a vertical electrode chain in the area close to the Ems-Jade Canal at a depth of about 30-50 m. With this measuring system, physical parameters are recorded daily and evaluated as part of the go-CAM project.