Forschung

Current Research Projects

Zoned detrital garnet grain

Garnet geochemistry as a provenance proxy in the Swiss foreland basin

Summary

The Swiss foreland basin is one of the most important sedimentary archives storing information on the evolution of the Alpine orogen. Sediments supplied to this basin between ca. 31 and 13 Ma ago witnessed the last pulses of mountain building, the reorganization of the drainage system, as well as large-scale geodynamic and climatic changes. Many of these processes have left their traces in the foreland basin by changing the provenance of its sediments. Accordingly, the sediments of the Swiss foreland basin have been investigated intensely: Using petrographical, mineralogical and geochemical methods, compositional changes in the foreland have been identified and linked to the exhumation and erosion of various litho-tectonic units in the hinterland.

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10 million years of interaction between terrestrial plant biodiversity and climate in the early Paleogene of the Helmstedt Mining District

Summary

A more or less continuous sequence of late Paleocene to middle Eocene sediments has been exposed and sampled in high resolution in opencast mines in the Helmstedt Mining District near Schöningen, Lower Saxony, Germany. The more than 200 m thick section comprises 13 lignite seams and their interbeds which formed in an estuarine setting at the southern margin of the Proto-North Sea. The succession covers the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO) and its steady but slow decline, the transition to the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) and some short-term warming events such as, e.g., the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

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Mouth part of Cladocera
Mouth part of Cladocera

Palynology and micropalaeontology of Holocene lacustrine sediments of the Layla Lakes, central Saudi Arabia

Summary

The Layla Lakes in central Saudi Arabia, located 300 km south of Riyadh, were fed by groundwater, but dried up in the late 1980’s due to extensive groundwater use, revealing a series of 23 dry sinkholes in the Jurassic Hith Formation. In one of them with a size of 400 x 100 m and a depth of 10 m several samples were taken during a field campaign in 2011. Furthermore a sediment core was drilled at the margin of the sinkhole, revealing a lacustrine succession of 10.8 m. Mineralogical and geochemical analyzes show two distinct types of sediments: Sediments with an average content of 85% calcite (carbonates) and sediments, which consist almost entirely of gypsum and anhydrite (sulfates).

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Heterogeneity and anisotropy in hydrogeothermal reservoirs – An example from the Innvervariscan Permocarboniferous

Summary

Geothermal energy production is still an underrepresented member within the renewable energy production technologies, yet providing a wide range of benefits like geopolitical independence, base load power, low emissions, coupling capabilities and an only marginal demand on surface area. Although being supported by the Gesetz für den Ausbau erneuerbarer Energien (Law for Renewable Energy Expansion, EEG) geothermal energy only contributes 0.3% to the German primary energy consumption. Private investors are primarily inhibited from investments by high drilling costs and significant prospecting risks.

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Climate and vegetation dynamics during the Eocene greenhouse of Central Europe: Palynological investigation of lacustrine sediments from Lake „Prinz von Hessen “(Hesse, Germany)

Summary

The planned PhD-project is related to the Early Tertiary, according to previous evidence probably (Middle) Eocene, section of the lacustrine sediments of Lake “Prinz von Hessen” (PvH) in Southwest-Germany, which have been cored in a scientific well in the year 1997 (core B/97-BK 9). Main task of the project is the detailed analysis of the organic material, which remains after palynological treatment, within the context of taxonomic, biostratigraphic, palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic issues. The project starts with the systematical/taxonomical analysis of the inventory of pollen and spores as well as algae and other figured organic residues. On the basis of the systematic analysis the quantitative evaluation of the microflora can be performed.

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Foto_Projekt_Anna

Palaeozoic source-to-sink relation in the northern trans-Gondwana Orogen (Eastern Africa, Arabia)

Summary

The Gondwana supercontinent amalgamated between 650 and 600 Ma before present by closure of the Mozambique Ocean. This led to the formation of the trans-Gondwana Orogen, a huge mountain range, from which massive amounts of detritus were transported towards the continental margins. The project aims to test the model of a super-fan system in the Palaeozoic of Gondwana. To do so we perform an integrated provenance study of Palaeozoic Sandstones on the Arabian Peninsula and in Ethiopia: bulk-rock petrography and geochemistry are combined with heavy mineral analysis and single-grain techniques, such as rutile and garnet chemistry and U-Pb dating of detrital zircons. A source-to-sink transect is studied from Ethiopia to the Arabian platform linking potential source regions in East Africa with Palaeozoic siliciclastics in the north.

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Completed Research Projects